LIHIR Gold has increased its gold production levels for the third successive quarter, with 318,000 ounces compared to 315,000 ounces in December.
Managing director Arthur Hood says the result has taken Lihir’s gold production levels past one million ounces for the last 12 months and he predicts full year 2009 production to be between 1.04 million and 1.2 million ounces.
“Overall the company is in very good shape to continue to grow its asset base and I look forward to reporting further good progress during the year,” says Hood.
He points to encouraging results from the company’s exploration activities in Côte d’Ivoire. New opportunities have been unearthed for the company with the potential expansion of its Bonikro process plant.
The million ounce plant upgrade at Lihir Island is on schedule and budget, with a feasibility study for a power project expected to be completed mid-year.
“Overall, the strong first quarter performance of the LGL group is the culmination of operational improvements implemented at Lihir Island together with the initial benefits from the diversification and growth strategy put in place over the past two years.”
A number of factors including lower industry cost pressures, weaker oil prices and a softer Australian dollar have contributed to lower costs for Lihir, with unit costs forecast to remain below $400
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