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Gold producer Karora says its 2022 net earnings down due to higher costs

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(Kitco News) - Karora Resources (TSX: KRR) today announced record gold production of 133,887 ounces in 2022, at the top end of the company's guidance range of 120,000 – 135,000 ounces and up 19% from 2021, driven by higher tonnes processed following the acquisition of the Lakewood Mill in July 2022.

The company also reported production and processing costs of C$179.3 million in 2022 compared to C$121.9 million in 2021, with the increase largely reflecting higher processing volumes, record tonnes mined at Beta Hunt, the ramp up of new mining areas at HGO as well as the impact of COVID-19 disruptions and sector-wide inflationary pressures.

However, Karora noted that its unit costs showed "marked improvement" in the second half of 2022, which positioned the company to achieve its guidance for all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of US$1,100 – US$1,200 per ounce sold.

The company said that its net earnings in 2022 were C$9.9 million (C$0.06 per share) compared to net earnings of C$27.5 million (C$0.18 per share) in 2021, "as a 20% increase in revenue, driven by record gold sales of 132,047 ounces, was more than offset by higher production and processing, depreciation and amortization and general and administrative costs."

In 2022, the company's adjusted earnings were C$21.1 million (C$0.13 per share) versus C$48.6 million (C$0.33 per share) in 2021, and adjusted EBITDA totaled C$91.5 million compared to C$104.3 million a year earlier.

Importantly, Karora pointed out it remains on the path to ramp up production over 2023 and 2024 to deliver gold production growth into a range of 170,000 to 195,000 ounces at AISC of US$1,050 – US$1,200 per ounce sold by 2024.

Karora operates its integrated Beta Hunt Gold Mine and Higginsville Gold Operations in Western Australia. In July 2022, Karora acquired the 1.0 Mtpa Lakewood Mill in Western Australia. The company also owns the high-grade Spargos Reward project, which came into production in 2021.

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