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Saracen Mineral ore reserves grow 32% to 3.3 Moz of gold at end of FY'19

Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd. said Aug. 1 that its reserves in Australia increased 32% to 3.3 million ounces within 52.0 million tonnes grading 2.0 g/t gold as of the end of fiscal 2019, from 2.5 million ounces within 40.0 million tonnes grading 1.9 g/t gold as of June 30, 2018.

The company said reserves in Carosue Dam's Karari-Dervish grew by 200,000 ounces to 1.2 million ounces, Carosue Dam open pits were up by 225,000 ounces to 406,000 ounces, and the Thunderbox underground mine increased by 190,000 ounces to 710,000 ounces during the year. Reserves in the Thunderbox open pit remained unchanged at 460,000 ounces.

The updated reserves underpin a seven-year production profile of 400,000 ounces annually from fiscal 2021 after the Carosue Dam mill is expanded to 3.2 million tonnes per annum from the current 2.4 mtpa. The expansion will cost an estimated A$34 million.

Open pit mining in Carosue Dam is set to resume in fiscal 202,1 which will coincide with the expansion, after it halted in mid-2015. It is planned to fill the additional 800,000 tonnes per annum of the mill capacity with open pit material for more than 10 years.

The company's feasibility study on its Thunderbox underground mine showed high productivity and long mine life supported by the reserves. The study pegged preproduction capital at A$61 million and life-of-mine all-in sustaining costs at A$1251/oz.

Mineral resources increased 7% to 9.2 million ounces as of June 30, from 8.6 million ounces in 2018.

The company is eyeing stronger output for fiscal 2020 with capital guidance of A$112 million.