Miner RNC Minerals Corp (TSE:RNX) recorded better-than-expected gold production for the second half of last year, as it told investors that the wildfires were not expected to have any material impact on first-quarter output from its operations in Western Australia.
The firm has seen record consolidated gold production since it acquired the HGO mine and mill at its Beta Hunt and Higginsville mines last summer.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, production was 26,874 ounces, while in the second half, output came in at 51,090 ounces of gold, beating company guidance of 42,000 to 49,000 ounces.
"The gold production results for the second half of 2019 were very strong, with a total of 51,090 ounces produced exceeding the upper end of the range of our previously announced second half 2019 guidance of 42,000 to 49,000 ounces," said RNC's Paul Andre Huet, the chairman and chief executive.
"The monthly production results for December continue to demonstrate the consistently improving production RNC has achieved since the acquisition of the Higginsville Gold mine and mill."
The firm produced 9,620 ounces of the yellow metal for the month of December 2019.
The miner also noted in Wednesday's statement that it had increased its cash position to C$34 million as at the end of 2019 - C$9 million higher than the C$25 million seen at September 30 last year.
Paying down debt early
Given its strong cash generation, in December, the company decided to pay down C$3 million in debt early, thus reducing 2020 interest costs.
In operations, the miner said it experienced "minor disruptions in ore haulage" from Beta Hunt, due to road closures in the region, however, it continued to process run-of-mine (ROM) stockpiles and Baloo material throughout the period.
"We are pleased to report that ore supply from Beta Hunt and the delivery of reagents to the mill has been restored and our mill is operating at full capacity with feed from both sites," it added.
The firm also noted in today's statement that overall, the impact of the bush fires at its Higginsville operations were not expected to have any 'material impact' on its first-quarter production nor its anticipated 2020 plans, thanks to the "outstanding efforts of firefighters, volunteers on the ground and the HGO team".
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