Newcrest gold production hit by shutdowns

Image: Newcrest Mining

Gold miner Newcrest Mining has recorded falls in production at three of its mines due to maintenance programs and unplanned outages.

The company’s output fell 14 per cent in the September quarter against the previous three-month period to 548,351oz.

Its production dropped at Lihir (182,068oz) in Papua New Guinea, Telfer (105,499oz) in Western Australia and Gosowong (47,270oz) in Indonesia.

At Lihir, Newcrest’s production was impacted by lower mill throughput due to a series of planned maintenance shutdowns, which were flagged in the company’s previous quarterly update.

Its production at Telfer was 12 per cent lower following an unplanned outage at the operation’s process water system and a rake failure in the tailings thickener.

The Gosowong mine’s production fell from 52,118oz due to reduced mill availability following unplanned power outages.

Newcrest did, however, increase output at the Cadia mine in New South Wales by 8 per cent against the June quarter to 213,514oz.

The rise in production at Cadia was guided by stronger performance from its Panel Cave 2 as grade and fragmentation improved as a result of maturation.

Newcrest managing director and chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas pointed out that the company was able to improve its production on the same period a year ago.

“Gold production for the group was higher than the corresponding first quarter of financial year 2018 but was lower than the prior quarter, as expected given the number of planned major plant shutdowns during the period,” Biswas said.

“Pleasingly, we had lower all-in sustaining costs (AISC) per ounce for the quarter compared to both the prior year period as well as the prior quarter. We expect gold production to increase over the remainder of the financial year.”

Newcrest has maintained its production guidance of between 2.35–2.6 million ounces for the 2019 financial year.

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