LGL 0.00% $4.48 lihir gold limited.

quarterly gold production up 41pc to 250000 oz

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    Sydney - Tuesday - October 28: (RWE Australian Business News) -
    Lihir Gold Ltd (ASX:LGL) reports gold production for the September
    quarter was a record 250,110 ounces, up 41pc from 177,111 ounces in the
    three months to June.
    The transition to multi-mine operation was achieved following
    completion of the Equigold merger in June.
    Total cash costs of $412/oz continued to position the company at
    the lower end of the global gold production cost curve.
    Average realised cash gold price was $847/oz.


    "Significant production was sourced from operations in PNG and
    Australia, confirming the progress the company has made in diversifying
    revenues and reducing single-mine risk, while at the same time adding
    significant growth potential," managing director Mr Arthur Hood said.
    "Importantly, the increase in production also reflected a strong
    improvement in performance at the cornerstone asset of Lihir Island,
    which produced 216,371 ounces in the quarter, compared with 170,000 oz
    in the three months to the end of June.
    "This was supplemented by contributions from Mt Rawdon in
    Queensland (23,838 oz) and Kirkalocka in Western Australia (7726 ozs),
    which became part of the LGL group from the completion of the Equigold
    merger in June.
    "Meanwhile, at Ballarat in Victoria, ore production from
    underground stopes commenced in August, enabling preliminary processing
    of low-grade material in the quarter, producing 2176 ozs of gold.
    "In addition to the strong production outcome, good progress was
    made in project development at Bonikro, in Ivory Coast, which poured its
    first gold on October 6, and at Lihir Island, where work advanced on the
    Million Ounce Plant Upgrade project," Mr Hood said.


    Full-year production is expected to be about 850,000 ozs.
    This will include record production of more than 700,000 oz from
    Lihir Island, 40,000 oz from Bonikro, 50,000 oz from Mt Rawdon and 9400
    oz from Kirkalocka.
    Delays in underground development at Ballarat have reduced
    expected production this year to around 20,000 oz, although this will
    increase in 2009 as production areas are opened and ore drives access
    higher-grade zones.
    Unit costs are forecast to be in the region of $400 to $420 per
    ounce, which is higher than initially forecast due to cost pressures
    across the industry during the year to date.
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