In a buck against current trends, miner Saracen has announced it will not be reducing its guidance at this point. The company remain on track for upwards of 500,000oz as part of their FY2020 guidance, but are also taking huge measures to protect staff and production at this time. The guidance for the FY2020 will continue to be monitored.
There has been a range of procedures implemented by Saracen to ensure health and safety of Staff is paramount. This includes:
- Bans on all non-essential travel
- Cessation of all discretionary expenditures and associated personnel
- Remote working arrangements where practicable both on and offsite
- Longer FIFO rosters for all personnel to at least 3 weeks on / 3 weeks off (from 15 days on / 13 days off and 8 days on / 6 days off i.e. 4 panel structure maintained)
- FIFO travel restricted to charter flights only with strict health screening before departure
- Employees and contractors living out of WA cannot travel to site unless 14-day quarantine period is met
- Additional charter flights and buses added to ensure sufficient seating to support social distancing
- Changes to the operation of mine camp facilities including kitchens, bars and closure of the gyms
Managing Director Ral Finlayson said in relation to the approach by Saracen on Covid19 “Our number one obligation is to protect our people and, in the process, the wider community, While the measures taken so far have had minimal impact on our production, these are not ‘business as usual’ times.
“The controls and restrictions we have put in place in recent weeks are likely to impact our mining production rates in the coming quarter. At this stage, with the benefit of substantial ore stockpiles, we expect the impact to be limited on mill production, but we will ensure we keep all stakeholders informed if and when circumstances change in the future.
“It may also become necessary to implement further measures, which we will do without hesitation if circumstances require.”
In other details on the production and operations news, there is a record group production of between 150,000 and 155,000 ounces estimated for the March quarter 2020; Production in the six months to December 31 was 216,452 ounces. The commissioning of the Carosue Dam mill to 3.2Mtpa is likely to be slightly delayed until the March quarter 2021, but Saracen has large ore stockpiles available for milling (more than 1.7Moz attributable) which will help insulate the business should mining be further restricted
A further update on current ore stockpile levels was provided:
- Carosue Dam – Approximately 9 months processing
- Thunderbox – Approximately 13 months processing
- KCGM low grade – Approximately 25 months processing
- KCGM sub-grade – Approximately 92 months processing
A pause has been placed on in-mine activity which includes definition drilling into Fimiston South at KCGM.