Newcrest builds future off record-breaking Cadia performance

The Cadia site. Image: Newcrest Mining.

Newcrest Mining has reflected on a strong 2019 financial year that was driven by the performance of the Cadia gold mine in New South Wales.

The company reported a statutory profit and an underlying profit of $561 million, a 178 per cent and 22 per cent increase on the previous fiscal period, as gold production reached 2.49 million ounces.

Newcrest’s results comes off the back of improvements at Cadia where there were record tonnes mined and milled with 28.8 million tonnes and 29.3 million tonnes, respectively.

The company produced 913,000 ounces of gold and 91,000 tonnes of copper at Cadia at a record low all-in sustaining cost of $132 per ounce.

Newcrest chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas said the impressive results were highlighted by the company’s financial performance.

“Our strong operating and financial performance allowed us to further reduce our net debt and strengthen the balance sheet as well as increasing dividends to shareholders, with the full year dividend being 19 per cent higher than last year,” Biswas said.

Newcrest also continued to ramp up its growth during the financial year, gaining exposure to the Red Chris mine in Canada.

“Our plan is to improve the current operating performance and, subject to drilling and further study, transform Red Chris into a Tier 1 operation by means of block caving,” Biswas said.

The company announced today that the transaction has officially been completed for the $804 million purchase which allows Newcreset to take a 70 per cent ownership of the Red Chris mine assets.

It has also revealed its ‘forward work plan’ for the site which includes applying the company’s transformation approach to optimise the exisiting open pit and the site’s process plant.

This will also include capitalising on Newcrest’s technology including coarse ore flotation and other forms of low energy beneficiation.

Newcrest’s Lihir operations in Papua New Guinea also contributed strongly to the company’s financials, generating $301 million of free cash flow, the fourth consecutive financial year in a row that it has generated over $300 million of free cash flow.

The company’s Telfer operations in Western Australia achieved the top end of its production guidance range, producing 452,000 ounces of gold and 15,000 tonnes of copper in the 2019 financial year.

The six per cent increase in gold production was driven by a strong improvement in recovery rates from 78.9 per cent in financial year 2019 to 83.4 per cent in financial year 2019 combined with higher underground ore rates.

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