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Westgold quarter produces 60,512 profitable ounces of gold

Updated: May 2

Visible gold from Westgold’s Fingall Deeps project. Credit: File

Westgold Resources produced 60,512 ounces of gold in the last quarter at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $2094 an ounce and the company has revealed cash and liquid assets of $168 million at the end of the period.

Management says it sees opportunities in “every one of our mines”. It says production is on track to be at the upper end of guidance with costs in the mid-range.

The company has reported a positive mine operating cash flow of $32 million, up $8 million on the previous quarter. It is debt free and its hedging position is down to just 40,000 ounces of gold.

Adding to the impetus, nine drilling rigs are in operation with best results in the quarter including 52m at 5.68 grams per tonne gold from 300m at Bluebird, 50.37m grading 5.05g/t gold from 746.63m at Big Bell and 19.5m at 6.24g/t gold from 220m in the Nightfall lode at Starlight.

Westgold’s clean-energy transition project is also advancing, with its Tuckabianna hybrid power station commissioning expected in July. And for the first time, it reported a zero-lost-time injury frequency rate for the quarter.

The company has 1400 workers, four underground mines and three processing plants at its Murchison and Bryah operations. It is also an owner-operator with an extensive mine fleet.

Underground mines are located at Big Bell, Paddys Flat, Bluebird and Starlight, with nine development projects including the historically-rich Great Fingall at Cue. Processing plants are at Tuckabianna, Bluebird and Starlight, with a current combined processing capacity of 4.1 million tonnes per annum.

During the quarter, Westgold mined 679,328 tonnes at a head grade of 2.7g/t gold and processed 869,355 tonnes at a head grade of 2.4g/t gold for 60,512 ounces at 90 per cent gold recovery. Capital expenditure was $15 million and $4 million was spent on exploration with its nine rigs.

The company reduced its hedge book during the quarter to 40,000 ounces at $2459 per ounce of gold. Its most recent spot gold sale on April 12 was at $3030 an ounce.

Building our cash and liquid assets in Q3 shows Westgold is delivering on the strategy of producing safe and profitable ounces in FY23. We are early in this operational and financial turnaround and our hedge position was reduced substantially this quarter at a time of record gold price. Our team sees additional opportunities in every one of our mines and the business functions that support them, and with a view to growth are committed to building a safe, profitable and sustainable business into FY24. Westgold Resources managing director Wayne Bramwell

Westgold has resources of about nine million ounces of gold and with drill results delivering more every quarter, the company has a long-life multi-asset operation that is benefiting from a sharp focus on simplification and profitability. The cash balance is growing, giving management internal funding options and external growth possibilities.

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