Aim-listed gold miner Nordgold has had a less productive first quarter and, on Friday, reported a 6% year-on-year decline in production to 211 700 gold-equivalent ounces (GEOs), compared with the 225 100 GEOs produced in the first quarter of 2018.
Production for the quarter was also 9% lower quarter-on-quarter.
Nordgold stated that the lower production was as a result of seasonally lower volumes processed at Neryungri mine, in Russia, owing to the impact of winter on the heap leach operations, as well as lower recoveries at its Bouly and Taparko mines, in Burkina Faso, and Suzdal mine, in Russia.
It did, however, achieve an operating profit of $64-million for the quarter, compared with the $17-million net loss reported for the fourth quarter of 2018, which had been impacted on by an impairment charge in respect of noncurrent assets.
Further, the company reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $122-million in the reporting period, which was 2% lower than the Ebitda of $126-million for the first quarter of 2018.
“For the company, 2018 was a year of transition, as we launched the Gross mine [, in Russia,] and made a series of investments in our operations to better position Nordgold for long-term sustained growth.
“In 2019, the first quarter has begun as expected. We have seen some impact on our heap leach operations in Russia from the cold winter, but I am pleased to report we are now starting to realise the benefits of [last year’s] investments in pit development.
“We continue to advance our near-mine drilling programmes. The Tokkinsky deposit we have identified near our Neryungri hub is a good example and shows real promise. As the year progresses, we will conduct further infill drilling to confirm the resource. Our successful Gross launch shows how we can take promising near-mine deposits and develop them around a central hub, economics permitting,” said CEO Nikolai Zelenski.Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online