Newcrest Mining has released its results for the first half of the 2017 financial year, recording a statutory profit of $187 million.
The company also recorded an underlying profit of $273 million and gold production of 1.23 million ounces at a group all in sustaining cost of $770 per ounce.
Newcrest managing director and CEO Sandeep Biswas said was he pleased with the company’s operational performance during the first half of the financial year, particularly at its Lihir operation in Papua New Guinea and its Cadia Valley operation in New South Wales.
“Lihir achieved its target mill throughput rate of 13mtpa (annualised) and Cadia achieved significant milestones in cave development and interaction,” Biswas said.
“Our near, medium and longer term growth options remain on track. At Lihir we have set a target of 14mtpa (annualised) sustainable mill throughput by December 2017 and an aspirational target of 17mtpa in the future.
“At Cadia, we have achieved plant throughput in the December quarter to above its nameplate capacity and we continue the prefeasibility study on the plant expansion.”
The company indicated that the underlying profit was $210 million higher than the previous period due to the higher realised gold price, higher copper and gold sales volumes, and lower operating costs.
Gold revenue was 16 per cent higher than the previous period, reaching $1552 million, due to a 15 per cent rise in the realised gold price.
Gold sales volumes also increased, with Cadia’s higher mill throughput increasing gold production by 31 per cent. The previous period had a hampered production rate at Cadia due to the repair of its Concentrator 1 SAG mill motor.
Copper revenue rose 22 per cent higher than the previous period reaching $243 million, due to an increase in copper sales volumes at Cadia and the Telfer operations in Western Australia.
The company also highlighted an exploration expenditure of $23 million, 15 per cent higher than the previous period, due to its growing portfolio of investments and strategic partnerships throughout the Asia Pacific, West Africa and the Americas.
Biswas also signaled that the company is on track to hit its production guidance.
“All assets continue to be free cash flow positive before tax and we continue to work to maximise their value potential through productivity efficiencies and cost reductions.
“We remain on track to achieve our annual guidance for the fourth year in a row.”
Earlier this year, Newcrest reported a minor decline in gold production in the December quarter after lowering output at Cadia and selling its share in the Hidden Valley operation in PNG to South Africa’s Harmony Gold.