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Kirkland Lake Gold achieves record production in 2021, beats guidance

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(Kitco News) - Kirkland Lake Gold (TSX:KL) today announced record quarterly and full-year production for the fourth quarter of 2021 ("Q4 2021") and full-year of 2021 ("FY 2021"), respectively.

The company said that its Q4 2021 production totalled 380,472 ounces driven by record quarterly production at Detour Lake Mine of 210,980 ounces and a 33% increase in production at the Macassa Mine compared to Q3 2021 to 61,336 ounces.

For FY 2021, the company’s consolidated production totalled 1,432,616 ounces, which is 5% higher than in FY 2020 and exceeded both the company’s original FY 2021 production guidance issued on December 10, 2020 of 1,300,000 – 1,400,000 ounces as well as improved guidance for the year of 1,350,000 – 1,400,000 ounces issued on November 3, 2021.

According to the company’s statement, this outperformance versus guidance was largely driven by Fosterville Mine, where FY 2021 production of 509,601 ounces was significantly higher than original guidance of 400,000 – 425,000 ounces and compared favourably to improved guidance of approximately 500,000 ounces.

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President and CEO Tony Makuch commented, "We finished 2021 with a record quarter of performance, driven by record production at Detour Lake, a strong finish to the year at Macassa and higher than planned production at Fosterville as the mine continued to achieve favourable grade performance."

He added that the merger between Kirkland Lake Gold and Agnico Eagle, which will create a new industry leader, is expected to close between late January and mid-February, after which the companies plan to finalize the consolidated 2022 budget for the new Agnico Eagle and to release consolidated guidance to the market in the second half of February.

"Focusing on the Kirkland Lake Gold assets, on a preliminary basis, both Detour Lake and Fosterville entered 2022 well positioned to achieve production during the year in line with previously-issued guidance. At Macassa, we are reviewing the operation to assess opportunities to incorporate Agnico Eagle’s Amalgamated Kirkland Zone into the mine plan, to address ongoing performance and supply chain issues related to batteries and our battery-powered haul fleet, and to evaluate future plans for the near-surface ramp and mineralized zones. Based on work to date, we expect a reduction in production in 2022 from levels included in our previously-issued three-year guidance," he noted.

Kirkland Lake Gold is a senior gold producer operating in Canada and Australia that produced 1,432,616 ounces in 2021. The production profile of Kirkland Lake Gold is anchored by three high-quality operations, including the Macassa Mine and Detour Lake Mine, both located in Northern Ontario, and the Fosterville Mine located in the state of Victoria, Australia.

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