Located in the Cobar Gold Field of Central West New South Wales, Australia, Peak Mines comprises five commercially active mines and a copper-gold processing plant. The deposits include Perseverance, Peak, New Occidental, Chesney and New Cobar.
In 2014, Peak Mines’ gold production met guidance and remained consistent with 2013, as increased grade and recovery offset a decrease in tonnes processed. Copper production beat guidance and increased 27 percent from the prior year as higher copper grade and recovery more than offset lower tonnes.
Both all-in sustaining costs and total cash costs were well below those of 2013, driven by a combination of increased productivity, the depreciation of the Australian dollar, an increase in copper by-product revenue and a $12 million decrease in sustaining capital and exploration expenditures.
In 2015, gold production at the Peak Mines is expected to be slightly below that of 2014, as a scheduled increase in tonnes processed is expected to more than offset by gold grade moving toward reserve grade. Copper production should remain in line with 2014 as a planned increase in mill throughput and decrease in copper grade should offset each other.
While all-in sustaining costs are scheduled to be in line with 2014, total cash costs are expected to increase slightly, as the benefit of the lower Australian dollar assumption only partially offsets the combined impact of a lower copper price assumption and lower gold production.
In 2016 and 2017, Peak Mines should deliver steady gold production with increased copper production and lower sustaining capital. Additional exploration is underway with the goal of continuing Peak Mines’ history of successful underground mineral resource delineation.