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Alacer earnings up

Canada-based Alacer Gold has reported a 66% year-on-year jump in adjusted profit for the March quarter, benefiting from a higher metal price and lower than planned all-in costs at the Çopler mine in Turkey.
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Alacer Gold's Copler sulphide plant achieved commercial production in May, 2019

Net March quarter earnings of US$48.6 million, or 16c/share, were up from $3.3 million, or 1c per share a year earlier.

Revenue for the period nearly doubled to $142.3 million, derived from gold sales of 89,604oz.

Copler produced 87,863oz in the quarter, lower year-on-year, at AISC of $700/oz (versus guidance of $735-$785/oz).

CEO Rod Antal said 2020 production guidance for 310,000-360,000oz remained unchanged, with AISC forecast at $775-$825/oz for the oxide plant and $650-$700/oz for the sulphide plant.

"As a result of our preparation, we have been fortunate and able to manage COVID-19 without any material impact to our operations, logistics or financial position to date," he said.

Antal said a planned autoclave shutdown and internal inspection was completed in March, showing "refractory linings and equipment were in excellent condition". As a result Alacer is assessing whether to defer a planned shutdown of a second autoclave, currently scheduled for June, to later in 2020 or 2021.

Alacer commissioned its sulphide plant last year and says regional exploration successes have provided it with several growth and development opportunities. It expects to publish an updated Copler district technical report later this year.

"We continue to march down the path of delineating a production profile of 300,000-400,000ozpa for the next 10 years," said Antal.

Shares in the company (TSX:ASR) have gained 53% in the past month to C$7.14, which capitalises it at $2.1 billion (US$1.5 billion).