Lihir Gold Limited
ASX : LGL
NASDAQ : LIHR
TSX : LGG

Lihir Gold Limited

July 30, 2009 06:00 ET

LGL's (Lihir Gold) Second Quarter Fiscal 2009 Production Report

Results to June 30, 2009 include Record Half-Year Gold Production

PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA--(Marketwire - July 30, 2009) - Lihir Gold Ltd (TSX:LGG)(ASX:LGL)(NASDAQ:LIHR) ("LGL") ("the Company") is pleased to announce the release of its production results for the three month period ended June 30, 2009.

In summary, a strong June quarter has enabled the Company to achieve record half year gold output of 612,000 ounces, compared to 566,000 ounces in the preceding six months.

Gold production in the June quarter was the third highest on record for LGL at 294,000 ounces. This included 219,000 ounces from Lihir Island in Papua New Guinea, 44,000 ounces from Bonikro in Cote d'Ivoire and 29,000 ounces from Mt Rawdon in Australia.

The solid first half performance positions LGL for its fourth successive year of record gold production, in line with its production target of 1.0- 1.2 million ounces.

LGL's flagship Lihir Island operation delivered a record 466,000 ounces for the half year (2H08: 463,000 ounces). Over the past 12 months, Lihir Island produced a record 929,000 ounces, highlighting the success of operational improvements at the site over recent years. The Million Ounce Plant Upgrade, which aims to lift production at Lihir Island to more than one million ounces on average from 2012, progressed on schedule and within budget during the second quarter.

The Bonikro mine performed strongly in its first full six months of production, with 84,000 ounces of gold poured. In Queensland the Mt Rawdon operation continued its consistent track record in the first half, with output of 54,000 ounces (2H08: 49,000 ounces).

Managing Director Arthur Hood said LGL had achieved significant operational progress in the June quarter, with the Company now reaping the benefits of having a diversified portfolio of producing mines.

"The Equigold acquisition is proving to be an excellent transaction for the company, bringing immediate increases in production as well as exciting growth opportunities in Cote d'Ivoire," he said.

During the June quarter LGL commenced work on a pre-feasibility study for the construction of a mine at Hire, located 15 kilometres from the Bonikro plant.

"Ore would be trucked to the Bonikro plant for processing, potentially enabling gold production to be increased and extending the life of the Bonikro facility," Mr Hood said.

Total cash costs for the LGL group were US$350 per ounce for the first half and US$368 for the June quarter, maintaining the company's global low cost position.

For the full year, the company expects to produce 770,000 - 840,000 ounces of gold at Lihir Island, 130,000 - 160,000 ounces at Bonikro, 90,000 - 100,000 ounces at Mt Rawdon and up to 20,000 at Ballarat, with total cash costs for the group forecast to be below US$400 per ounce.

"Moving into the second half of 2009, LGL is debt-free, with a strong cash balance and a growing production profile. Following the closure of the company's hedge book in early July, the LGL group is once again completely unhedged, maximising gold price leverage for our shareholders. I'm confident in our ability to deliver further operating and financial improvements as the year progresses," Mr Hood said.

The Company will release is half year financial results on 26 August 2009.

Documents providing further detail relating to these results, including the "Second Quarter 2009 Production Report" and the "Presentation - Second Quarter 2009 Production Results," will be available on SEDAR shortly at (http://www.sedar.com) and on the Company's website: www.LGLgold.com. Also, a recording of the Company's discussion of these results is available on LGL's website.

Contact Information

  • Lihir Gold Ltd (Brisbane)
    Joe Dowling
    GM Corporate Affairs
    Mobile: +0421 587 755
    or
    Lihir Gold Ltd (Brisbane)
    Josie Brophy
    Corporate Communications Manager
    +07 3318 3317
    josie.brophy@lglgold.com
    or
    Lihir Gold Ltd (Toronto)
    Greg W Taylor
    (905) 337-7673 or Mobile: (416) 605-5120
    gtaylor@g-tinvestorrelations.com