Mid-tier gold production and exploration company Gold Road Resources (ASX: GOR) has released its annual report for the year to 31 December 2022.
The Perth company has also set May 18 as the date for its annual general meeting, to be held in Perth at 2pm.
The annual Sustainability Report has also been released.
Writing in the annual report, Gold Road managing director Duncan Gibbs said:
“I am delighted to be able to report on a year of strong operational and financial performance and the advancement of Gold Road’s growth strategy.
“None of this was possible, of course, without first ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our people. I am pleased that, in 2022, we achieved our goal of a zero LTIFR. Unfortunately, we had four low-severity recordable injuries resulting in us not achieving our goal of a 20% year-on-year improvement to our TRIFR. Gold Road’s 2022 TRIFR was 21.3 (2021: 13.6).
“Our operational performance during the year was a notable improvement on 2021.
“Gruyere, our core operational asset, is delivering on the potential we first flagged when Gold Road discovered this world-class gold deposit in the Yamarna Greenstone Belt in 2013.
“Gruyere delivered a record performance in 2022 that saw 314,647 ounces produced. This was within the target range of 300,000 to 340,000 ounces that Gold Road had flagged with our shareholders throughout the year. Gold Road’s 50% share, 157,324 ounces, was delivered at an AISC of A$1,447 per ounce, falling within guidance of between A$1,270 to A$1,470 per ounce.
“The joint venture’s management of Gruyere during the challenging inflationary cost environment in 2022 and the delivery to production guidance despite the operational impacts of COVID-19 are a credit to all involved, as well as a testament to the underlying quality of the Gruyere Deposit.
“Free cash flow of $76.9 million supported Gold Road’s cash and cash equivalents to $74.4 million by year’s end – even after allowing for cash investments in De Grey Mining Ltd (where we are currently the largest shareholder with a 19.73% interest) and Yandal Resources Ltd (where we are also the largest shareholder with a 17.45% stake) as well as the continued payment of dividends to our Shareholders.
“Gold Road remains debt free with a $150 million facility undrawn. Our hedge book, which was important during Gruyere’s ramp-up phase, was closed out in November so that we finished 2022 unhedged and with full exposure to the gold price, something many of our shareholders have been asking for.
“We are also committed to sustainable production. The Gruyere JV renewable energy microgrid, comprising a 13 MW solar farm and a 4.4 MWh Battery Energy Storage System, was completed during the year and will cut carbon emissions by approximately 16,000 tonnes annually. The solar farm delivered 13% of Gruyere’s power in December 2022.
“As we advised Shareholders in early 2023, Gold Road is forecasting production to increase to between 170,000 to 185,000 ounces (50%) at attributable AISC of between A$1,540 and A$1,660 per ounce.
“Since Gruyere poured first gold in June 2019, the operation has been on a journey to reach sustainable average annual production of around 350,000 ounces, which we anticipate achieving from 2023. The drive to deliver 350,000 ounces annually will be rising head grades at Gruyere and improved plant throughput, with the installation of a third pebble crusher in 2023 designed to enhance performance of the SAG and ball mills.
“The past year was significant for Gold Road in terms of executing on our growth strategy, which is focused on meaningful exploration success as well as value-adding investments and acquisitions. The DGO Gold takeover, announced and completed during the year, contributed to the growth in our exploration pipeline as well as providing Gold Road with a portfolio of listed investments in De Grey Mining, and other junior exploration and development companies. Gold Road’s listed investments
had a market value of $407 million at 31 December 2022.
“I look back on 2022 as a year of great achievement and significant investment in a positive future for Gold Road.”