Gold miner Northern Star Resources expects to meet its full year sales target despite a fall in December quarter gold sales.
Northern Star sold 128,819 ounces of gold in the three months to December 31, a seven per cent drop on the previous quarter, the company said in an update on Thursday.
However the Western Australia-based miner is still expected to meet full year guidance, despite a drop in sales from its Jundee operation and a pause in production at its Paulsens mine, executive chairman Bill Beament said.
The average realised gold price rose slightly for the quarter to $1,693 per ounce, while all-in sustaining costs lifted 4.5 per cent to $1,067.
“We are comfortably on track to meet cost guidance and increase production to an annual rate of 600,000 ounces this calendar year,” Mr Beament said on Thursday.
Chief executive Stuart Tonkin said Paulsens was “paused for review” and will make no further contribution to FY18 output, while staff and fleets are redeployed.
Mr Tonkin said the move was about getting resources down to the growth centres of Millennium, outside Kalgoorlie, and extra capacity across to Jundee in the Northern Goldfields region of West Australia.
RBC Capital Markets’ mining analyst Paul Hissey said December was a softer quarter with production falling below RBC estimates.
“Despite the softer quarter, we believe the company remains on track to meet FY18 guidance of 525,000 to 575,000 ounces, at an AISC of $1,000 to A$1,050 per ounce,” Mr Hissey said.
Gold sales out of Jundee fell 17.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter after a fall in grade and ounces mined, down to 5 grams of gold per tonne and 62,915 ounces, from 6.1grams and 72,471 ounces in the September quarter.
Northern Star shares were up 13 cents, or 2.1 per cent, to $6.27 at 1415 AEDT on a good day for gold mining stocks, which have benefited from a rise in gold futures.