2017 First Quarter Operational Results
Consolidated gold production in the first quarter of 2017 was 132,736 ounces, 6% (or 7,955 ounces) above budget and 4% (or 4,892 ounces) higher than the first quarter of 2016. Gold production from the Company's Masbate, Otjikoto and La Libertad mines all exceeded expectations. The Otjikoto Mine had a very strong start to the year with first quarter gold production of 42,774 ounces, significantly above budget by 20% (or 7,082 ounces) and also 20% (or 7,071 ounces) greater than the first quarter of 2016. The Masbate Mine also continued its very strong operational performance producing 52,562 ounces of gold, 5% (or 2,569 ounces) above budget and comparable with the prior-year quarter.
Consolidated cash operating costs in the quarter were $564 per ounce, $80 per ounce (or 12%) below budget. This was mainly the result of higher-than-budgeted gold production combined with lower-than-budgeted operating costs. Consolidated cash operating costs in the quarter were $65 per ounce higher compared with the first quarter of 2016, as the prior-year quarter had benefited from lower fuel prices and a significantly weaker Namibian dollar/US dollar foreign exchange rate.
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