Kirkland Lake Gold (TSX:KL)(NYSE:KL) owns valuable assets, as well as two high-grade, low-cost underground operations. These include the Macassa mine complex located in northeastern Ontario, the Fosterville gold mine located in the State of Victoria, Australia, as well as the Detour Lake mine, a large-scale open-pit mining operation located in northern Ontario.
Quality and low-cost gold production
The company has a strong foundation of quality and low-cost gold production. Kirkland’s mines produced a total of 1.4 million ounces in 2020, at an average operating cash cost per ounce sold of $404 and all-in sustaining costs (AISC) per ounce sold of $800. As a result, the company is targeting production for 2021 of about 1.4 million ounces.
Further, Kirkland maintains the high standards that the company’s stated core values represent. The company’s mining, exploration, and development activities are subject to various levels of federal, provincial, state, and local laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment, including requirements for closure and reclamation of mining properties.
All phases of the company’s operations are subject to environmental regulation in the various jurisdictions in which it operates.
Compliance with environmental regulations
The company appears to make significant efforts to be in compliance with all material respects of environmental regulations applicable to Kirkland’s mining operations, development, and exploration activities.
The company has implemented various policies, including an environmental policy, a corporate social responsibility policy, and a health and safety policy in which it accepts a corporate responsibility to practice environmental stewardship, community engagement, and development, and to provide a safe and healthy workplace for the company’s employees.
In addition, the company also seems committed to complying with all relevant industry standards, legislation, and regulations in the countries where it carries on business. It has begun the implementation of best practices under various mining programs set out by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) at all the company’s operations.
Inspections of mine sites
During 2020, reviews of the environmental and social performance of all of the company’s operations were led by the company’s corporate social responsibility and environment and sustainability departments.
The reviews included inspections of the company’s mine sites and surrounding areas with key operations personnel, review of monitoring programs and procedures, and evaluation of the principal environmental and social issues related to each of these operations. The key observations and recommendations from the reviews were reported to the board.
Detailed environmental audits
In addition to the periodic reviews, detailed environmental audits are completed at each mine at least once a year. These audits review environmental compliance and implementation of best practice procedures and management systems.
During 2020, audits were undertaken at the company’s Macassa Mine, Holt Complex, Fosterville Mine, and the Northern Territory operations, and no material issues were identified.
Furthermore, no material social concerns were identified at the company’s mine sites in 2020. The company’s 2021 sustainability report has integrated reporting performance against various external reporting frameworks, including the United Nation’s sustainable development goals, the MAC’s sustainable mining initiative, and the sustainability accounting standards board. This provides some assurance that Kirkland’s mines are high-quality.
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