Nov 19, 2019

Ernest Henry remains lowest-cost operator

Ernest Henry remains lowest-cost operator

By Ross Louthean

The Ernest Henry copper-rich gold mining operation retained the crown of being the lowest cost all-in sustaining cost (AISC) gold producer in Australia and New Zealand in the September quarter.

The quarterly Aurum Analytics survey, linked to PCF Capital, showed there were no dramatic changes in the top ranking performers, with the Ernest Henry underground mine maintaining a clear lead with spectacular AISC costs of minus $A414/ounce.

Ernest Henry showed the value of its dual copper output, in producing 23,378 oz of gold for the quarter at a low-grade of 0.55 grams/tonne.

The long-established mine is 38km north-east of Cloncurry.

Next came Newcrest Mining Ltd’s Cadia Valley underground mine in New South Wales with AISC costs, in producing 171,730 oz at 1.15 g/t and also having the value of copper credits.

Third again was Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd’s Fosterville operation in Victoria with AISC costs of $A421/oz, in producing from the high grade mine 158,327 oz at a head grade of 41.8 g/t.

The next highest-ranked AISC performer for the quarter in Queensland was the 21st ranked Mt Carlton open cut mine followed in 22nd place by the Cracow underground mine – both operated by Evolution Mining.

Aurum Analytics said the average AISC costs for Australian and NZ gold mines for the quarter was $A1,335/oz which was up 4.7 per cent (or $A60/oz) on the previous quarter.

The average gold price for the quarter was $A2146/oz ($US1472/oz).

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