Resources were calculated using a cut-off grade of 0.5 g/t gold. Arrangements have also been made to store low quality materials for future processing rather than treating them as waste.
The resource update used data from 365 holes or 185,000 meters of surface diamond drilling completed over the past 18 months. (Kirkland Lake acquired Detour Gold Mines in January 2020.) An additional 100,000 meters are planned by the end of the year.
“When we acquired Detour Lake, we saw many opportunities to optimize operations and drive value,” said Chairman and CEO Tony Makuch. “We now expect Detour Lake to reach 800,000 oz. of production in 2025, and eventually reaching over 900,000 oz. per year, with an average AISC targeted at $775 per ounce over the next five years.
Kirkland Lake is also optimizing Detour Lake’s 2021 life of mine plan. A number of initiatives to improve plant availability and throughput, metallurgical recovery, grade control and automation are under consideration.
“We are targeting further operational improvements which, in total, are expected to generate between C$750 million and C$1 billion of value improvement benefits over the next two to five years,” Makuch added.
The Detour Lake mine is located approximately 300 km northeast of Timmins, Ontario in the Abitibi greenstone belt. The historic mine produced 1.8 million ounces. of gold from 1983 to 1999 from surface and underground sources when owned by Placer Dome. It returned to production under Detour Gold in 2012. Today it operates solely as an open pit mine, producing 516,757 oz. of gold in 2020. The forecast for 2021 is 680,000 to 720,000 ounces.
Kirkland Lake Gold reported record earnings for the second quarter and for 2021. Net income for the period was $224.2 million (CA$0.91 per share), a 67% increase over the same period a year earlier and 51% compared to the first quarter of this year. .
The Company also owns and operates the Macassa Gold Mine in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, and the Fosterville Gold Mine in Victoria, Australia. Detour Lake remains the largest producer with 312,611 oz. in the first six months of 2021. Macassa produced 102,759 oz. and Fosterville 266,672 oz.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Review)