Newcrest Mining has recorded a 6 per cent increase to its gold production at the Telfer gold-copper mine in Western Australia in the March quarter.
Telfer’s higher production was delivered due to a throughput rate increase and gold recovery improvement.
At Telfer, Newcrest produces gold-copper concentrates, which are exported to the eastern Asia region, and gold dorè that is refined at the Perth Mint in Western Australia.
The company produced 105,228 ounces of gold at Telfer in the March quarter, compared with 98,855 in the previous period.
According to Newcrest, this has offset the 4 per cent decrease to the total gold production for the quarter.
The decrease, which was anticipated in the December quarterly report, saw the company produce 512,424 ounces of gold, down from 535,477 in the previous period.
This was due to planned shutdown events at the Cadia gold operation in New South Wales and the Lihir gold operation in Papua New Guinea.
Newcrest managing director and chief executive Sandeep Biswas said a milestone for the March quarter was the Cadia operation delivering its lowest ever all-in sustaining cost (AISC).
“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 $US160 ($205) per ounce,” he said.
“This record, along with unit cost reductions at all other sites, delivered a 7 per cent reduction in our all-in sustaining cost per ounce for the quarter and a strong all-In sustaining cost margin of $US854 per ounce.”
Newcrest produced 180,000 ounces at Cadia in the March quarter, a 7 per cent decrease that was driven by lower throughput following a scheduled maintenance shutdown.
In March, Newcrest commissioned the Cadia molybdenum plant in March 2021, which is expected to provide another revenue stream for the mine through a production of molybdenum concentrate.
Molybdenum concentrate is considered a by-product credit to AISC, Newcrest stated.
The plant is expected to enter commercial production during the September 2021 quarter.
Biswas said the company’s Lihir operation in Papua New Guinea had not been hit by COVID-19 despite a recent surge in cases across the country.
“Pleasingly we have experienced no material disruption to production or operations to date as a result of COVID-19,” he said.
“We have further strengthened our COVID-19 controls at Lihir and continue to work closely with all relevant government stakeholders in Australia and Papua New Guinea to manage the risks associated with the virus.”