Lowest cost gold mining companies in Q3 2021 - report
(Kitco News) - Kitco ranked the top 10 lowest cost gold mining companies in Q3 2021 among the top 20 largest primary gold producers worldwide measured by the yellow metal output.
The ranking used all-in sustaining costs (AISC) metric that serves as a globally accepted benchmark of a mine's operating efficiency.
Primary gold producers are defined as "mining companies where gold contributed to 80% or more of revenues from operating activities."
With AISC of $697/oz, Russia's Polyus was the lowest cost gold producer among the top 20 biggest gold miners in Q3 2021. The company's AISC increased 22% year-over-year mainly due to increase in output at the structurally higher-cost alluvial operations, ongoing inflation in consumables and diesel prices, lower ore grades and recovery at Olimpiada, as well as increase in sustaining capital expenditures during the reporting period.
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Kirkland Lake Gold is second with AISC of $740/oz in Q3 2021, an improvement of 16% compared to Q3 2020. The company explained that its Q3 2021 AISC decreased mainly due to lower than planned levels of sustaining capital expenditures.
B2Gold sits third with AISC of $795/oz sold, which was virtually unchanged from Q3 2020 ($785/oz). The company said that all-in sustaining costs in Q3 2021 were in-line with budget and reflect higher than budgeted gold ounces sold, higher than budgeted gains on settled fuel derivatives and lower than budgeted sustaining capital expenditures.
Endeavour Mining is fourth. The company's AISC from continuing operations of $904/oz in Q3 2021 increased by 3% or $23 per ounce compared to Q3 2020 due to expected higher capital expenditure and scheduled higher operating cost at all operations which was offset by the inclusion of the lower cost Sabodala-Massawa mine due to more ounces sold.
SSR Mining is fifth with reported AISC of $1,006/oz in Q3 2021, down 3% compared to Q3 2020 ($1,034/oz). Given this strong performance, the company reduced its 2021 AISC guidance from $1,050 - $1,110 per gold equivalent ounce to $1,000 - $1,040 per gold equivalent ounce.
Gold Field's all-in sustaining costs increased by 5%, from US$964/oz in Q3 2020 to US$1,016/oz in Q3 2021, mainly due to the capital expenditure at Salares Norte increasing from US$23m to US$108m.
Barrick's AISC of $1,034/oz in Q3 2021 were 7% higher than in Q3 2020 ($966/oz) primarily due to the impact of higher minesite sustaining capital expenditures at Carlin on a per ounce basis.
Yamana reported AISC of $1,041/oz in Q3 2021, an improvement of 5% over Q3 2020 ($1,096/oz). The company said it recorded standout performances at several mines during the quarter, which positions the company to deliver its lowest cost of the year during the fourth quarter.
Agnico Eagle's AISC (including the Hope Bay mine) in the third quarter of 2021 increased 4% to $1,059/oz when compared to the prior-year period.
Newmont's AISC increased 10% to $1,120 per ounce in Q3 2021 from the prior year quarter primarily due to higher cost of sales per ounce and higher sustaining capital spend. These increases were partially offset by lower treatment and refining costs.