Published: February 22, 2017
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
Lower tonnes from Campbell Mine and a focus on development have resulted in lower gold production at Goldcorp Red Lake Gold Mines compared to the year previous.
Releasing its fourth quarter results on Feb. 15, the company noted gold production at the Red Lake camp totalled 88,000 ounces at an all-in sustainable cost of $932 per ounce for the reporting period.
Discussing the results on Feb. 16 Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Todd White said the company is working to lower fixed costs by addressing “underutilized infrastructure.”
“We continue to drive down our fixed cost structure through the rationalization of underutilized infrastructure. In the first quarter the Red Lake Mill was put on care and maintenance and the Campbell shaft is planned to be put on care and maintenance in the second quarter of 2017.”
White added that production in the upcoming year is expected to decrease due to the depletion of the high grade zone.
“Costs are expected to be consistent with 2016 and over the long-term there is potential to increase production with our two growth projects Cochenour and HG Young.”
Gold production in 2017 is expected to total 300,000 ounces with Cochenour and HG Young key growth projects.
“At Cochenour we put approximately 13,000 tonnes from the 3990 and the 4060 levels through a sample tower and then through the mill where we have experienced consistent grade reconciliation model through the mill. We are in the midst of completing the concept study, which has shown positive economics for a starter mine. Following the completion of this study in the first quarter of 2017 we will advance into a pre-feasibility study at Cochenour,” reported White.
The company says further exploration drilling is planned for HG Young to update geological interpretation and block models in advance of a concept study.
As a whole Goldcorp Inc. saw net earnings for the quarter of $101 million, or $0.12 per share, compared to a net loss of $4.3 billion, or loss of $5.14 per share in the fourth quarter of 2015.
“During the forth quarter we saw a 24 per cent lower all-in sustaining costs of $747 per ounce of gold sold compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 reflecting the company’s focus on cost efficiencies as well as the impact of the strengthening US dollar against the Argentine and Mexican pesos,” reported David Garofalo, President and CEO, on Feb. 16.
“In January we set out a new growth strategy that is expected to achieve over the next five years a 20 per cent increase in gold production, 20 per cent in gold reserves and a 20 per cent reduction in all-in sustaining costs.”
At Musselwhite fourth quarter gold production totalled 75,000 ounces at an all-in sustainable cost of $696 per ounce. Production decreased compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 due to lower head grade and a lower recovery rate. Gold production in 2017 is expected to total 265,000 ounces (+/-5%), in line with 2016.