Economic & Industrial

Newcrest on track for full year targets

Newcrest on track for full year targets
Mining News Pro - Gold miner Newcrest Mining is on track to meet its full year production guidance, following a strong March quarter.

Group gold production in the three months to March reached 512 424 oz, down from the 535 477 oz produced in the December quarter, while copper production increased from 34 557 t to 35 034 t in the same period.

Silver production was slightly lower at 228 548 oz, down from the 230 769 oz in the previous quarter.

The Cadia operation delivered 179 546 oz of gold and 26 324 t of copper during the quarter under review, while Lihir, in Papua New Guinea, contributed 183 231 oz of gold. The Telfer mine, in Western Australia, produced 105 228 oz of gold and 3 666 t of copper, while Red Chris, in Canada, delivered 11 095 oz of gold and 5 044 t of copper.

Fruta del Norte, in Equador, contributed a further 33 324 oz of gold during the quarter.

Newcrest on Thursday told shareholders that all-in sustaining costs improved during the quarter under review, declining from $1 349/oz to $1 253/oz on the back of a higher realised copper price, higher gold sales volumes from the Lihir and Telfer operations, and the timing of sustaining capital expenditure at Lihir and Red Chris.

“Our world-class Cadia asset set a new record during the March 2021 quarter, reporting its lowest ever quarterly all-in sustaining cost of negative $160/oz. This record, along with unit cost reductions at all other sites, delivered a 7% reduction in our all-in sustaining cost per ounce for the quarter and a strong all-in sustaining cost margin of $854/oz,” said Newcrest CEO and MD Sandeep Biswas.

These benefits were partially offset by the impacts of a strengthening Australian dollar against the US dollar, which resulted in an increase to operating costs along with lower copper sales volumes at Red Chris and the Cadia operation.

“As part of our plan to forge an even stronger Newcrest, we continue to progress multiple organic growth options across our gold and copper assets with a number of key project milestones delivered during the period. At Red Chris and Havieron, box cut and surface infrastructure construction is progressing to plan, while at Lihir we are on target to deliver the findings of our Phase 14A pre-feasibility study in the June 2021 quarter,” said Biswas on Thursday

“In March we released our initial mineral resource estimate for Red Chris, which confirmed the potential we saw in this orebody and further supports our belief that this could be a Cadia-style development.

“We remain on track to report the findings of our block cave pre-feasibility study by the end of September 2021. We also commenced commissioning of Cadia’s molybdenum plant, with commercial production expected in the September 2021 quarter,” said Biswas.

The plant is expected to deliver an additional revenue stream for Cadia in the form of a molybdenum concentrate.

“We are very well positioned to fund our organic growth opportunities, with a strong balance sheet and long-dated debt maturity profile, further enhanced through the early repurchase of outstanding corporate bonds and the maturity extension of our existing undrawn bilateral bank debt facilities.”

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