LONDON (Alliance News) - Highland Gold Mining Ltd on Monday said 2018 gold and gold equivalent production was within guidance range and output is expected to rise in 2019.
For 2018, the company produced a total of 269,500 ounces of gold and gold equivalent, down slightly from 272,274 ounces in 2017 but within its guidance range of 265,000 to 275,000 ounces. Total production in the year just begun is expected to be in the range of 290,000 to 300,000 ounces.
Production for the fourth quarter from the company's Mnogovershinnoye, Novoshirokinskoye and Belaya Gora mines totalled 65,753 ounces of gold and gold equivalent, down from 68,722 ounces in the comparative year ago quarter.
The drop in quarterly production was attributed to lower grades and recoveries at Novoshirokinskoye mine
Novoshirokinskoye saw lower mined ore grades, particularly in terms of lead content, as mining moved to lower horizons and expected reserve grades were not confirmed in certain blocks, Highland God said. The lower lead content, as well as an increase in the proportion of gold associated with pyrite, hurt recovery rates.
To improve recoveries at Novoshirokinskoye, the company has intensified in-fill underground production drilling and commenced research at the project.
The Russian miner realised average gold prices of USD1,230 per ounce in the final quarter of 2018 and USD1,255 for the full year. Spot gold was quoted at USD1,278.00 an ounce on Monday.
Highland Gold also reported that two mine rescue team contractors died on December 29 while responding to an avalanche at Mnogovershinnoye which hurt one employee. The company said an investigation into the accident was underway.
Shares were trading 0.4% higher at 156.20 pence each on Monday morning.