Newcrest Mining Sees Lower Gold, Copper Production In March Quarter -- Update

By Ben Collins Features Dow Jones Newswires

Newcrest Mining (NCM.AU) said Thursday that its production of gold and copper was down in the March quarter after bad weather at its Telfer mine in Western Australia and ongoing work at its Cadia mine in New South Wales.

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In a statement the company said production of copper in the three months to March 31 was down 12.3% on the prior quarter at 22,074 tons, and Gold production fell 2.6% 598,602oz over the same period.

However, Newcrest Mining chief executive Sandeep Biswas said the company's all-in sustaining cost was at its lowest level per ounce at US$713 since the measure was introduced, "despite lower production at Cadia and Telfer."

There was record rainfall through January at the Telfer mine and the company said this was the main reason gold production decreased.

At Cadia, which was damaged in an earthquake earlier this month, gold production was slightly lower as a result of "reduced ore feed", particularly as all underground mining was suspended for a week to accommodate a full belt change of one of the main underground conveyors.

Copper production at the Ridgeway production site at Cadia was down to 406 tons from 2,063 tons in the fourth quarter.

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Newcrest mining expects gold production for the full year to be at the bottom end of a 2.3 to 2.6 million ounce range, while copper production for the full year is expected to be between 80 and 90 thousands tons, the company said.

The Cadia East mine remains offline after an earthquake earlier in April, and in a seperate announcement on Thurday the company said some production was expected to begin again early in the 2018 financial year in one of two panel caves, while work continues to asses the extent of damage to the second one, with a definitive estimate of its timeline to recommence production expected once this is completed.

It also said it was processing stockpiles of low grade ore from the Cadia Hill pit while the Cadia East mine is undergoing rehabilitation, and that the rate of gold production is expected to be lower as a result of the lower grades.

The Cadia operation is not expected to meet its full-year production guidance, and the Telfer operation full-year production is expected to be at the lower end of guidance, though the company expects its Gosowong gold mine to be higher than the limit of its 270,000 ounce full-year guidance.

Shares in Newcrest Mining last traded at AU$22.43 giving it a market capitalization of AU$17 billion (US$12.7 billion).

Write to Ben Collins at ben.collins@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 26, 2017 20:06 ET (00:06 GMT)