Newcrest banks on growth with $1.1bn raising

The Red Chris mine. Image: Newcrest Mining.

Newcrest Mining is seeking to raise $1.1 billion to fund future growth at its mine sites globally as other companies preserve cash due to concerns over economic uncertainty.

The move will also expand Newcrest’s exposure to gold production at Lundin Gold’s Fruta del Norte mine in Ecuador after raising its ownership stake in Lundin to 32 per cent in December last year.

Newcrest has acquired the gold prepay, stream facilities and an offtake agreement in respect to Fruta del Norte for $US460 million ($701.6 million).

Newcrest managing director Sandeep Biswas said the purchase was in line with the company’s growth strategy.

“The acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive with the gold prepay and stream facilities expected to provide Newcrest with economic exposure to approximately 400,000 ounces of gold from the mine between 2020 and 2026,” Biswas said.

“With gold prices at the levels we see today, Newcrest expects to receive significant cash flows which will rank ahead of Lundin Gold’s equity holders.”

Lundin’s offtake agreement allows Newcrest to acquire 50 per cent of refined gold production from Fruta del Norte up to 2.5 million ounces.

Newcrest also intends to use the $1 billion placement to construct declines at the Havieron and Red Chris projects in Western Australia and Canada respectively.

The gold miner is now placed in trading halt in anticipation of it launching the equity placement.

During the March quarter, Newcrest produced 519,000 ounces of gold and 35,000 tonnes of copper, down from 550,000 ounces and 38,000 tonnes in the previous period.

“Newcrest’s gold production in the quarter is in line with our expectations following the recent update to guidance on 11 March 2020 and reflects the impacts of planned shuts at Cadia and Telfer and the divestment of Gosowong in March,” Biswas said.

Production at Telfer was 6 per cent lower than the prior quarter due to a reduction in underground ore mill feed, while both of Cadia’s concentrators were shut according to planned maintenance.

Newcrest expects its gold production in the June quarter to exceed that achieved in the March period.

Its production guidance for the 2020 financial year remains unchanged.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.