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Are these the best ASX-listed gold producers?

Gold production from some of Australia’s biggest and brightest gold miners rocketed in the most recent June quarter, compared to the first three months of 2014 as drier weather and higher quality ore aided operations.

The true standout was Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) which, with the aid of its recently acquired mines, increased gold production by 131% over the previous quarter, and exceeded the company’s own guidance.

Northern Star produced 115,819 ounces (oz) of gold for the quarter transforming the company to one of Australia’s largest listed gold producers.

Company Gold Production Mar Quarter 2014 (oz) Gold Production Jun Quarter 2014 (oz) Change (%)
Northern Star Resources Limited (NST) 115,819 50,219 131%
Newcrest Mining Limited (NCM) 551,590 636,736 15%
Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (KCN) 48,725 55,450 14%

Source: Company releases.

Higher grades of ore and higher production across the board drove a huge quarter of production for Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM). Newcrest’s production jumped 15% over the March quarter and the strong result helped to smash the company’s full-year guidance of between 2.0 to 2.3 million oz of gold by 100,000 oz.

It was a positive production outcome for Newcrest investors who have suffered mercilessly over the last 12 months. The higher production helped to push down the company’s All-In Sustaining Cost (AISC) per ounce for the quarter by 8%.

However a remaining concern is Newcrest’s Lihir PNG mine which operated at an AISC of $1,313 per oz, just $69 below the average realised gold price for the quarter of $1,382.

Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (ASX: KCN) also had a strong quarter of production, up 14% over the March quarter, the company targeted higher grade ore at its Chatree Gold Mine in Thailand.

It was Northern Star though which shone the brightest for the quarter. I would rank the company as one of the best ASX-listed gold miners at present and it is this bright future which has pushed shares up over 100% so far this year.

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Motley Fool contributor Regan Pearson does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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