Fosterville still firing but pandemic bites other Kirkland sites

FOSTERVILLE has turned out almost 160,000 ounces for owner Kirkland Lake Gold in the first quarter of 2020, thanks to an average gold grade of 42.4 grams per tonne.
Fosterville still firing but pandemic bites other Kirkland sites Fosterville still firing but pandemic bites other Kirkland sites Fosterville still firing but pandemic bites other Kirkland sites Fosterville still firing but pandemic bites other Kirkland sites Fosterville still firing but pandemic bites other Kirkland sites

Gold grade is still strong at Fosterville.

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The fact average mill recoveries at the Victorian mine were 98.8% certainly did not hurt either.

That helped the mine get a 24% increase on its production of 128,445 ounces in the first quarter of 2019. Back then the average grade was 29gpt and average mill recoveries were 98.3%.

The 46% increase in average grade was thanks to greater mine sequencing in the rich Swan Zone compared to the first quarter of 2019.

To get its 159,864oz in the first quarter of 2020, Fosterville milled 118,701t of ore.

However, its first quarter 2020 effort is down slightly on the fourth quarter of 2019.

In that period ended December 31 2020, Fosterville turned out 191,894oz by milling 121,998t of ore.

Mill recoveries for that fourth quarter period were also higher at 99.2% on the back of a higher average grade of 49.3gpt.

That 2019 fourth quarter production was a record for Fosterville.

According to Kirkland Lake that reflected mine sequencing as well as "grade outperformance" in a number of Swan Zone stopes.

Fosterville has managed to keep operating at full levels of production despite the restrictions implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The mine's COVID-19 health and safety protocols have been implemented, including remote work, social distancing, increased cleaning and hygiene and the suspension of all non-essential work and visits to site.

Some of Kirkland Lake's other operations have not been so lucky.

One of the workers at its Detour Lake mine in Ontario, Canada, tested positive for the virus in March.

According to Kirkland Lake the worker arrived at the mine on March 12 and was not displaying symptoms.

He started to display symptoms on March 14 and self-isolated before being taken from site on March 16.

The worker received a positive test result on March 26 and informed the company on March 27.

Kirkland Lake said all employees at the mine were instructed to complete the Ontario health self-assessment and self-isolate.

To date the company is unaware of any workers showing symptoms.

It has led Kirkland Lake to reduce operations at Detour Lake and Macassa - also in Ontario - temporarily suspend operations at the Holt Complex in Ontario and suspend all exploration.

Kirkland Lake Gold president and CEO Tony Makuch said the company had taken a number of steps to protect its people from COVID-19, including its shutdowns and operation reductions.

"Overall, our people are doing a great job putting our health and safety protocols into practice and working together as a team, he said.

Makuch said the company's management task force met daily to assess emerging developments and identify new measures required to protect its people, their families and communities.

He said the company's people were still working effectively.

"Faced with the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, our operations still turned in a very strong first quarter," Makuch said.

"We increased production year over year, even before adding in the contribution from Detour Lake Mine since January 31.

"Production growth was once again driven by Fosterville, where we continue to achieve strong grade performance from the Swan Zone."