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Saracen Mineral Holdings eyes further production growth after 20% increase in gold reserves

The updated reserve and resource support Saracen’s strategy to grow production to 350,000 gold ounces a year.

Underground drilling
Underground drilling

Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR) has crossed a significant milestone in its strategy to grow the mine life and production at its gold operations.

The company is focused on two Western Australian projects, Carosue Dam Operation and Thunderbox Operation.

Saracen has revealed an ore reserve of 2.5 million gold ounces as at 30 June 2018, up 20% from 2.1 million gold ounces as at 30 June 2017 (despite depletion of 348,000 gold ounces).

READ: Saracen Mineral Holdings reveals potential to grow gold inventory and production

Importantly, the new reserve underpins a mine life of at least seven years based on the mid-point of Saracen’s 2018-19 financial year production guidance of 325-345,000 gold ounces.

Furthermore, a total resource of 8.6 million ounces of gold, as well as significant exploration upside, highlights the potential to establish +10-year life.

The updated reserve and resource estimates also support Saracen’s strategy to grow production to a base case of 350,000 ounces a year as part of its seven-year plan.

Thunderbox pit

Saracen managing director Raleigh Finlayson said the reserve increase capped a run of strong progress for the company on several fronts.

Finlayson added: “We have just posted record production of 316,453 ounces for the past financial year, which exceeded our guidance. And we increased our guidance for this financial year to 325,000-345,000 ounces.

“Today’s reserve increase shows we are on track to continue growing mine life and production from organic sources immediately adjacent to our mills and we are doing it at a cost of just A$25 per reserve ounce.

“With almost 9 million ounces in resources and drilling generating strong results across our assets, we are confident of achieving our objective of becoming a 400,000 ounce per annum gold producer with long mine life.”

Quick facts: Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited

Price: 3.48 AUD

ASX:SAR
Market: ASX
Market Cap: $3.84 billion
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