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A new resource estimate for the Detour Lake gold mine, in Ontario, has added more than 10-million ounces to the project’s measured and indicated mineral resource.

Triple listed Kirkland Lake Gold this week reported that the measured and indicated mineral resource at Detour Lake was now estimated at 14.71-million ounces, at an average grade of 0.8 g/t gold.The project also had an inferred mineral resource estimate of 1.1-million ounces.

“When we acquired Detour Lake, we saw many opportunities to optimize the operation and generate value, including increasing production to 800 000 oz/y, improving all-in sustaining costs (AISC) to $800/oz to $900/oz and significantly growing mineral resources and mineral reserves through an extensive exploration program,” said Kirkland Lake president and CEO Tony Makuch.

“As outlined in the technical report and life-of-mine plan filed in March, we now expect Detour Lake to reach 800 000 oz/y of production in 2025, and to ultimately grow to over 900 000 oz/y, with average AISC targeted at $775/oz over the next five years. With today’s results, we have now clearly demonstrated both the tremendous exploration potential at Detour Lake as well as the considerable success being achieved through our drilling programs.”

Makuch noted that based on drilling to date, the company has more than tripled measured and indicated mineral resources, with more to come as Kirkland Lake works to complete another 100 000 m of drilling by the end of 2021.

“Our new mineral resource estimates include significant growth in mineral resources established using a 0.5 g/t cut-off grade, as well as low-grade mineral resources, which under previous plans would have been mined as waste, whereas in the new estimate these will be stockpiled and processed in later years. Everything we see tells us that we are on track for solid growth in mineral reserves as part of our December mineral reserve and mineral resource statement.

“In addition to the excellent progress being achieved with our exploration program and the completion of our first updated mineral resource model since acquiring Detour Lake, we are also advancing efforts to optimize the 2021 life-of-mine plan. Based on ongoing work, we are targeting further operational improvements that, in aggregate, are expected to deliver between $750-million and $1-billion of value enhancement benefits over the next two to five years. These include a variety of initiatives that should improve mill availability and throughput, metallurgical recovery, grade control, automation, innovation and site optimization.”