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Kirkland Lake relatively unscathed from COVID-19 mine suspensions

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(Kitco News) - The devastating COVID-19 pandemic appears to have limited impact on Kirkland Lake (NYSE: KL, TSX: KL) as the company re-issued production guidance.

In a press release Tuesday, the Canadian miner said it expects to produce between 1,350,000 and 1,400,000 ounces of gold in 2020, down slightly from the company’s pre-COVID guidance of between 1,470,000 and 1,540,000 ounces of gold.

The company said that it decided to re-issue 2020 guidance as it ramps up operations at Detour Lake and Macassa. Both mines have adapted to reduced operations as part of the Company’s COVID-19 response.

“We withdrew our 2020 guidance recognizing the uncertainties around COVID-19 and the need to assess the impacts of the many measures and protocols introduced to protect workers, their families and our communities,” said Tony Makuch, president and chief executive officer, of Kirkland Lake. “We are still working on assessing these impacts but felt that it was important to advise the market about our current expectations for full-year 2020.”

Looking at production costs, the company forecast all-in sustaining cost (“AISC”) between $790 and $810 per ounce of gold, an improvement from previous guidance between $820 and $840 per ounce.

“We expect improved unit costs compared to previous guidance due to the removal of Holt Complex from our 2020 guidance, which is a relatively high-cost operation, as well as changes in market conditions,” said Makuch.

Some gold miners have faced significant disruptions from COVID-19 safety measures during the second quarter. Newmont CEO Tom Palmer estimated the company was running at 75% capacity in April-May due to mine closures in South America.

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