The West

Price to drive expansion
Price to drive expansion

Saracen Mineral Holdings executive chairman Guido Staltari is banking on a strong gold price to drive the company’s expansion towards a mid-tier Australian producer.

Saracen produced 116,000oz in financial year 2012 at Carosue Dam, 120km north-east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and Mr Staltari says production of 250,000oz per annum is realistic in a few years.

However, Saracen’s cash costs rose $165/oz to $958/oz and would have severely impacted on after tax profits of $18.7 million if not for the high gold price. Gold was hovering above $US1700/oz yesterday.

Mr Staltari, a geophysicist who discovered the Jupiter project near Laverton in the late 1980s, now hopes analysts predicting gold will surpass $US2000/oz early next year are on the money. “I’m praying and screaming from the sidelines, shouting and cheering and hoping they’re right,” Mr Staltari said.

The days where Mt Charlotte was the only Golden Mile underground operation to survive the massive gold price downturn in the late 1970s and early 1980s are now a distant memory, but Mr Staltari says few could have predicted how strongly the industry would rebound.

“Kalgoorlie has a history of reinventing itself,” he said.

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