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Kirkland Lake Gold announces 10.1 million ounce increase at Detour Lake Mine

Sep 2, 2021

“When we acquired Detour Lake, we saw many opportunities to optimize the operation and generate value, including increasing production to 800,000 ounces per year, improving all-in sustaining costs (“AISC”) to $800 – $900 per ounce and significantly growing Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves through an extensive exploration program," said Tony Makuch, President and CEO of Kirkland Lake Gold.

Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. today announced the release of new Mineral Resource estimates for the Detour Lake Mine as at June 30, 2021.  

"As outlined in the technical report and life-of-Mine Plan (“2021 LOMP”) filed in March 2021, we now expect Detour Lake to reach 800,000 ounces of production in 2025, and to ultimately grow to over 900,000 ounces per year, with average AISC targeted at $775 per ounce over the next five years," added Makuch. "With today’s results, we have now clearly demonstrated both the tremendous exploration potential at Detour Lake as well as the considerable success being achieved through our drilling programs. Based on drilling to date, we have more than tripled M&I Mineral Resources, with more to come as we work to complete another 100,000 metres of drilling by the end of 2021. Our new M&I Mineral Resource estimates include significant growth in Mineral Resources established using a 0.5 g/t cut-off grade, as well as low-grade Mineral Resources, which under previous plans would have been mined as waste, whereas in the new estimate these will be stockpiled and processed in later years. Everything we see tells us that we are on track for solid growth in Mineral Reserves as part of our December 31, 2021 Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource statement.

Included in the Mid-Year 2021 Mineral Resource estimates are total Measured and Indicated (“M&I”) Mineral Resources, exclusive of Mineral Reserves, of 14,718,000 ounces (572.0 million tonnes (“MT”) at an average grade of 0.80 grams per tonne “g/t”)), an increase of 10,061,000 ounces or 216% from the previous estimate of 4,657,000 ounces (131.2MT at an average grade of $1.10 g/t) as at December 31, 2020 (See 2020 Technical Report filed on SEDAR) as well as Inferred Mineral Resources totalling 1,1155,000 ounces (48.3MT at an average grade of 0.81 g/t). The Mid-Year 2021 Mineral Resource estimates were prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, issued by the Canadian Securities Administrators ("NI 43-101"). The new Mineral Resource estimates are being released as a result of a material increase in M&I Mineral Resources that was identified as part of the Company’s mid-year internal Mineral Resource progress update. The Company plans to release a new NI 43-101 Report to support the Mid-Year 2021 Mineral Resources for the Detour Lake Mine, to be filed within the next 45 days.

The Mid-Year 2021 Mineral Resource estimates were calculated based on the results of 365 holes for 185,000 metres of surface diamond drilling completed since the Company acquired Detour Lake on January 31, 2020. The Company is targeting approximately 100,000 metres of additional drilling by the end of 2021.

Of the 14,718,000 ounces of M&I Mineral Resources included in the Mid-Year 2021 estimates, the majority are located within the Saddle Zone, an area between the existing Main Pit and planned West Pit locations, which had previously been underexplored and had no Mineral Reserves and only limited Mineral Resources. M&I Mineral Resources within the Saddle Zone are allocated to the Main and West pits based on their proximity to the two pit locations. As outlined in the tables below, M&I Mineral Resources within the Main Pit are estimated at 7,103,000 ounces based on 205.6MT at an average grade of 1.07 g/t (0.50 g/t cut-off grade), with an additional 973,000 ounces based on 71.9MT at an average grade of 0.42 g/t of low-grade M&I Mineral Resources (0.35 g/t cut-off grade). The West Pit M&I Mineral Resource estimates include 5,096,000 ounces based on 180.4MT at an average grade of 0.88 g/t (0.50 g/t cut-off grade), with low-grade M&I Mineral Resources totalling 1,530,000 ounces based on 113.5MT at an average grade of 0.42 g/t (0.35 cut-off grade).

“In addition to the excellent progress being achieved with our exploration program and the completion of our first updated Mineral Resource model since acquiring Detour Lake, we are also advancing efforts to optimize the 2021 LOMP. Based on ongoing work, we are targeting further operational improvements that, in aggregate, are expected to deliver between $750 million and $1.0 billion of value enhancement benefits over the next two to five years. These include a variety of initiatives that should improve mill availability and throughput, metallurgical recovery, grade control, automation, innovation and site optimization.”

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