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TORONTO — Kinross Gold Corp. reported a strong operational start to 2018, with solid production from mines and lower costs, the company announced in first-quarter results May 8.

“We continue to maintain our robust liquidity position, and with our strong commitment to deliver consistent results, we are firmly on track to meet our annual production and cost guidance and are on plan with the development projects that will shape our future,” said J. Paul Rollinson, president and CEO.

Kinross operates mines or projects in Nevada, Alaska, Brazil, Chile, Russia and West Africa.

“Our portfolio of development projects is progressing well,” Rollinson said. “Our Nevada projects at Round Mountain and Bald Mountain are continuing to proceed on schedule.

Financial highlights

Kinross produced 653,937 attributable gold equivalent ounces in the first quarter of 2018, compared with 671,956 gold equivalent ounces in the first quarter of 2017.

Revenue from metal sales increased 13 percent to $897.2 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared with $796.1 million during the same period in 2017, due to an increase in gold equivalent ounces sold and a higher realized gold price.

Adjusted operating cash flow increased by 45 percent to $363.7 million for the first quarter of 2018. Net operating cash flow was $293.5 million.

Adjusted net earnings increased to $125.2 million, or $0.10 per share, for Q1 2018, compared with adjusted net earnings of $23.4 million, or $0.02 per share, for Q1 2017. The increase was mainly due to higher margins and a decrease in depreciation, depletion and amortization.

Reported net earnings were $106.1 million, or $0.09 per share, for Q1 2018, compared with earnings of $134.6 million, or $0.11 per share, in Q1 2017.

Capital expenditures increased to $246.9 million for Q1 2018, compared with $178.9 million for the same period last year.

North America operating highlights

Construction of the Round Mountain Phase W project is progressing according to schedule, with engineering 90 percent complete and initial low-grade ore expected in mid-2019. Pre-grading of the heap leach pad has commenced, along with earthworks in the new infrastructure area. The commissioning of two new electric rope shovels has been completed and stripping is progressing on schedule.

At the Bald Mountain Vantage Complex, engineering is now 90 percent complete with commissioning of the heap leach pad and processing facilities expected to commence in Q1 2019. The majority of procurement packages and construction contracts have been awarded and all major permits have now been received.

The Fort Knox Gilmore project feasibility study in Alaska is on schedule for completion in June 2018.

During the first quarter, S&P Global Ratings upgraded Kinross’ credit rating to investment grade, noting the company’s long track record of maintaining low leverage, along with its lower cash costs, strong liquidity and meaningful growth opportunities.

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