Gold miner Northern Star is bringing forward exploration investments after making significant discoveries at its Jundee mine in Western Australia.
Executive chairman Bill Beament said the miner will bring forward $25.4 million of exploration spending that had been planned for future years into the second half of the current financial year, after the latest exploration results at Jundee.
“These results show the Jundee Gold Field is now emerging as one of the greatest gold fields in Australia,” Mr Beament said.
“We are now very confident that we will grow Jundee’s 1.4 million ounce reserve base significantly, adding years to its mine life.”
Northern Star’s net profit from continuing operations dropped seven per cent to $79.1 million in the six months to December, as increased gold sales were offset by a fall in its average realised gold price of $5 per ounce.
RBC Capital markets analyst Paul Hissey said the half-year result was “somewhat mixed” as weaker than expected revenue was largely offset by lower costs.
The company’s all-in sustaining costs per ounce dropped six per cent to $1,043, and Northern Star said it is on track for a full-year all-in sustaining costs between $1,000 and $1,050 per ounce.
It has also maintained its production guidance of between 525,000 and 575,000 ounces.
The company’s accelerated spending will lift Northern Star’s production to 600,000 ounces per year during calendar 2018, it said.
Shares in Northern Star were steady at $6.10.
NORTHERN STAR HIT BY LOWER GOLD PRICES
* Half year net profit down 7pct to $79.1m
* Revenue up 14pct to $435.3m
* Fully franked interim dividend up 1.5 cents to 4.5 cents