Gold AISC rise in Q3

THE average all-in sustaining cost for gold mines in Australia and New Zealand rose in the September quarter, according to Aurum Analytics and PCF Capital Group.
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Staff reporter

AISC for the quarter averaged A$1422 an ounce, up 3.2% or $45/oz quarter-on-quarter.

The average spot gold price for the quarter rose from $2604/oz to $2669/oz.

The lowest cost producer for the quarter was Evolution Mining's 30%-owned Ernest Henry operation in Queensland, which reported AISC of -$515/oz due to copper by-product credits.

Newcrest Mining's Cadia mine in New South Wales, which also produces copper, reported AISC of $158/oz.

On a co-product basis, Aurum estimates Ernest Henry's AISC as $875/oz and Cadia's as $921/oz.

Kirkland Lake Gold's Fosterville mine in Victoria was third with AISC of $488/oz, but was the lowest cost gold-only producer.

Saracen Mineral Holdings' Thunderbox open pit and underground operation was fifth and the lowest cost producer in Western Australia with AISC of $790/oz, while Evolution's Cowal mine in NSW had the lowest costs for an open pit-only operation at $1026/oz.

There were eight gold mines that reported AISC of over $2000/oz, six of which were in WA.

They were St Barbara's Gwalia ($2592/oz), Newcrest's Telfer ($2513/oz), Superior Gold's Plutonic ($2261/oz), Red 5's Darlot ($2126/oz), Northern Star Resources' Kalgoorlie ($2116/oz) and Wiluna Mining Corporation's Wiluna ($2012/oz).

The other high-cost mines were Evolution's Mt Carlton in Queensland ($2674/oz) and OceanaGold Corp's Macraes in New Zealand ($2074/oz).

Cadia was the largest producer for the quarter with output of 196,504oz, followed by Newmont Corp's Boddington in WA, Fosterville, Newmont's Tanami, and Northern Star and Saracen's Super Pit.

The average reported head grade was 3.33 grams per tonne gold, or 0.93gpt for open pits and 5.45gpt for underground mines.

The highest grade for the quarter was again Fosterville with a head grade of 30.3gpt gold, followed by another Victorian mine, Mandalay Resources' Costerfield with a head grade of 11.54gpt.