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Saracen Mineral Holdings' fiscal Q1'20 gold output at record high

Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd. posted record production of 96,324 ounces of gold for the first quarter of its fiscal 2020 with all-in sustaining costs of A$964 per ounce.

Output was ahead of the company's fiscal 2020 production guidance of 350,000 to 370,000 ounces and below its all-in sustaining cost, or AISC, guidance of A$1,025/oz to A$1,075/oz, it said Oct. 22. Shares were up 4.75% by ASX trading close following the announcement.

In the first quarter of Saracen's fiscal 2019, it produced 88,940 ounces at AISC of A$993/oz.

Saracen's Thunderbox project in Western Australia contributed 45,735 ounces in the period under review, and the mine's AISC fell to a record low of A$682/oz as the C Zone open pit delivered higher grades and lower strip-ratio ore, as planned.

Gold sales were 97,307 ounces at an average price of A$1,916/oz, generating revenue of A$186.4 million.

The company said its unaudited net profit after tax totaled between A$42 million and A$45 million. It outlined plans to start paying dividends from fiscal 2020, targeting a payout of 20% to 40% of its net profit after tax, as long as it maintains at least A$150 million in cash.

Saracen spent A$16.3 million on exploration during the quarter, with A$50 million earmarked for exploration in the full year.

Cash and equivalents as of Sept. 30 totaled A$196.1 million, compared to A$154.5 million at the end of June.

The company recently entered into a binding agreement to acquire Talisman Mining Ltd. subsidiary Talisman Nickel Pty. Ltd., owner of the Sinclair nickel project in Western Australia.