In 2013, Peak had another solid year, achieving record annual throughput and increasing gold production by 5 percent over the prior year. Peak met guidance for both gold and copper production, with all the key variables that drive production, including tonnes processed, grades and recoveries, also in line with expectations.
A major focus at Peak is driving down costs through productivity improvements, lower employee turnover, and lower costs for contractors and services in a competitive environment. For the full year, total cash costs were negatively impacted by a combination of the lower than forecasted realized copper price and $7 million of underground development costs being expensed rather than capitalized, which was partially offset by the depreciation of the Australian dollar. Total cash costs are expected to decline as a result of increased copper by-product revenue, depreciation of the Australian dollar and increased productivity. In addition, 2014 sustaining capital expenditures at the Peak Mines are estimated to decrease by approximately 8 percent to $40 million. As a result, all-in sustaining costs are anticipated to decrease by over $245 per ounce to $1,065 to $1,085 per ounce in 2014. With the expectation of another year of solid gold production as well as increased copper production and lower costs, 2014 should be a strong year for the Peak Mines.
For 2014, gold production is expected to be in line with 2013, while copper production in 2014 is expected to increase by approximately 1 million pounds compared to 2013 due to higher copper grades. The team is focusing on reserve replacement to extend the mine life, by converting M&I resources to reserves. It is targeting the completion of 45,000 metres of drilling, approximately 80 percent of which is for continued underground resource delineation and mineral reserve conversion. The team will also test newly emerging targets along the 9 kilometre mine corridor and will continue to advance early-stage regional targets on Peak's greater claim holdings, spanning 70 kilometres of prospective terrain.
Over its history, Peak has earned a place as a star performer in all facets of social responsibility. Once again in 2013, its safety record was far better than the regional average, it received an Environmental Achievement award for its exemplary environmental practices, and Peak and its employees actively contributed to the sustainable development of the region.