Highest-grade underground gold mines in Q1 2020

Kirkland Lake’s Fosterville gold mine in Australia was the highest-grade gold mine in the world (based on gold grade in milled ore) in Q 2020. Five out of the top ten highest-grade gold mines are in Canada.

The grade or concentration of a mineral or metal in ore directly affects costs associated with mining as well as its subsequent beneficiation and extraction of precious components.

Mines and Metals ranked currently active gold operations throughout the world based on gold grade in a tonne of milled ore. We looked at operations that are separate reporting units and which have Q1 2020 gold grade figures disclosed by the owners/operators.

For more accurate basis of comparison, gold operations have been split into underground and open-pit, since these mining methods utilize different techniques/equipment and it does make sense to identify “the best in the breed” gold operations within one mining category, first.  

Here is the list of the world’s top ten underground gold operations ranked by the gold grade in a tonne of milled ore.

With 42.4 g/t of gold in milled ore, Kirkland Lake’s Fosterville mine in Australia was both the world’s highest-grade and lowest cost gold mine in Q1 2020.

Hecla’s Nevada Operations in the United States sit second with 35.9 g/t of gold achieved during Q1 2020.

Another Kirkland Lake’s Macassa mine in Canada is third (19.7 g/t), followed by Gran Colombia’s Segovia Operations in Colombia (14.9 g/t) and Wesdome’s Eagle River mine in Canada (14 g/t).

The complete list is below.

Highest-grade underground gold mines in the world. Source: Mines and Metals.

MineCountryMajor ownerQ1 2020 Au milled grade, g/t
1FostervilleAustraliaKirkland Lake 42.4
2Nevada OperationsUnited StatesHecla 35.9
3MacassaCanadaKirkland Lake 19.7
4Segovia OperationsColombiaGran Colombia 14.9
5Eagle RiverCanadaWesdome 14.0
6Costerfield / AugustaAustraliaMandalay 12.6
7Hope BayCanadaTMAC 11.9
8Island GoldCanadaAlamos Gold 11.7
9BambananiSouth AfricaHarmony Gold 10.7
10SeabeeCanadaSSR Mining 10.3

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