TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Mar 18, 2015) - Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. (KGI.TO)(KGI.L) ("Kirkland Lake Gold" or the "Company"), an operating and exploration gold mining company, announces record monthly production of 16,485 ounces of gold (recovered) for the month of February, kicking off its fourth quarter for fiscal 2015.
32,862 tons milled at a head grade of 0.52 ounce per ton or 17.8 grams per tonne and a recovery rate of 96.8 per cent;
Recovered 16,485 ounces of gold.
George Ogilvie, president and chief executive officer, commented: "We are happy to see the positive momentum continuing, particularly considering February was only a 28-day month. While this is an exceptional month and one we cannot consistently replicate just yet, it does show the potential of the property in future years. As more stopes come on-line in the South mine complex on both the 5400 level (where we are currently mining and where reserves grades are 0.57 ounce per ton or 19.5 grams per tonne), and the 5600 level (which we plan to gain access to in fiscal 2016, where reserves grades are 0.70 ounce per ton or 24.0 grams per tonne), we should begin to see more consistent performance and above our last 12-month performance. Our recently revised forecast upward to 153,000 to 157,000 ounces of annual production remains intact.
"We have made a lot of changes over the past 14 months, and our team has met the challenges posed to them head on. It has been a great team effort, and I wish to thank all of our employees for their commitment and hard work. The operations team and all the employees of the company need to be commended for a job well done in turning around the company's fortunes in a relatively short period of time.
"It's my belief and that of the board of directors, that the Kirkland Lake camp can be used as a core asset to build the next great Canadian gold mining company."
Operational achievements and team effort
February's production was achieved through a number of factors including a higher head grade of 0.52 ounce per ton (17.8 grams per tonne) resulting from access to more high-grade stopes within the South mine complex. The operations saw a more efficient transition between mining cycles from ore production to paste fill. Changes in the tire supplier increased the availability of the mobile fleet which saw less downtime and resulted in more ore break. The new jumbos gained access to some ore headings and while they are not yet operating at full capacity, they are contributing to the overall ore tons broken (which averaged 1,205 tons per day in February). Improvements with the maintenance of the battery operated equipment also saw positive impacts. With a dedicated battery team, responsible for troubleshooting and maintenance, the availability of these units has greatly improved.
Better communication resulted in increased worker productivity and ultimately better teamwork. The operations team have been steadily meeting the challenges posed to them and have come together to achieve success. A number of initiatives were undertaken including management training which saw better dialogue among team members. The company continues to foster an "it's my business" and "act like an owner" culture in the operation, which is having a direct impact on improving efficiency and productivity.
While the grade and production rate will remain variable in the short term, there are a few key steps that the company is striving toward to ensure February's achievements are repeatable in the future. The company expects to see some improvements in the near term which will result from the ability to increase the number of working faces, and, as the second jumbo gains access to more ore faces, further improvement in the paste fill process that will come with some automation initiatives, and continued positivity in employee morale within the business.
Production at the Macassa mine and processing at KL Gold's milling facility are under the supervision of Chris Stewart, PEng, the company's vice-president of operations. Mr. Stewart, the qualified person (for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, of the Canadian Securities Administrators), has reviewed and approved this news release.
About the Company
Kirkland Lake Gold Inc.'s corporate goal is to create a self-sustaining and long-lived intermediate gold mining company based in the historic Kirkland Lake gold camp, as well as to explore opportunities for growth in other safe mining jurisdictions. The Company plans to do this by mining to the reserve grade, generating profits and free cash flow with a view to maximising value for the shareholders. The Company will also look to take advantage of its increased infrastructure capacity in the appropriate gold price environment. At the same time, the Company is committed to maintaining a significant exploration program aimed at developing and maintaining a property wide reserve and resource base sufficient to sustain a mine life of more than ten years.
Over the last several years the Company has invested significant capital to improve the infrastructure of the business including upgrading the production hoist, skips, mill, underground mobile equipment and capital development. From initial discovery to present day there have been over 24 million ounces of gold mined from the Kirkland Lake gold camp while the current reserve and resource provides for potentially 14 years of mining with significant exploration upside.
Neither the Toronto Stock Exchange nor the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange has reviewed or accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
This Press Release contains statements which constitute "forward-looking statements", including statements regarding the plans, intentions, beliefs and current expectations of the Company with respect to the future business activities and operating performance of the Company. The words "may", "would", "could", "should", "will", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect" and similar expressions, as they relate to the Company, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are based on the opinions, assumptions and estimates of management considered reasonable at the date the statements are made such as, without limitation, opinion, assumptions and estimates of management regarding the Company's business, including but not limited to; the ability to meet its revised production guidance, the ability to bring two additional stopes into production on the 5400 level and access to the 5600 level and the timing thereof, as well as other productivity improvements which the Company expects will have further positive impacts on its production levels. Such opinions, assumptions and estimates, are inherently subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other known and unknown factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These factors include the Company's expectations in connection with the projects and exploration programs being met, the impact of general business and economic conditions, global liquidity and credit availability on the timing of cash flows and the values of assets and liabilities based on projected future conditions, fluctuating gold prices, currency exchange rates (such as the Canadian dollar versus the United States Dollar), possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates, changes in accounting policies, changes in the Company's corporate mineral reserves and resources, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, changes in project development, construction, production and commissioning time frames, risks related to joint venture operations, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, higher prices for fuel, power, labour and other consumables contributing to higher costs and general risks of the mining industry, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, unexpected changes in mine life, seasonality and unanticipated weather changes, costs and timing of the development of new deposits, success of exploration activities, permitting time lines, government regulation of mining operations, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses, title disputes or claims, and limitations on insurance, as well as those risk factors discussed or referred to in the Company's annual Management's Discussion and Analysis and Annual Information Form for the year ended April 30, 2014 and the Company's Management's Discussion and Analysis for the interim period ended January 31, 2015 filed with the securities regulatory authorities in certain provinces of Canada and available at www.sedar.com.
Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Although the Company has attempted to identify important risks, uncertainties and factors which could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be others that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements except as otherwise required by applicable law.
Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. George Ogilvie, P.Eng Chief Executive Officer +1 709 532 5716 +1 705 568 6444 firstname.lastname@example.org Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. Suzette N. Ramcharan, CPIR Director of Investor Relations +1 647-284-5315 +1 705 568 6444 email@example.com www.klgold.com NOMAD: Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited Dominic Morley / Adam James +44 (0) 20 7886 2500 Blytheweigh Tim Blythe/Halimah Hussain/Megan Ray +44 (0) 20 7138 3204
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