Newcrest sets sights on 2020 guidance despite production drop

The Cadia site. Image: Newcrest Mining.

Newcrest Mining is confident of reaching its production guidance for the 2020 financial year despite a fall in its September quarterly output.

The company’s gold production dropped by 23 per cent to 512,000 ounces, and copper fell by 14 per cent to 25,000 tonnes on the June quarter.

Newcrest attributed this fall to several planned maintenance shutdowns across its mines.

The company conducted two maintenance shutdowns at the Cadia processing plant in New South Wales, resulting in a 25 per cent reduction in tonnes treated on the June period.

Newcrest also undertook routine inspections of the semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill motor at Cadia, causing extended downtime for the mill during the current quarter.

The company’s ore production at the Telfer mine in Western Australia was also hit by unplanned equipment downtime.

Newcrest estimates its production at Telfer will fall in the bottom end of its guidance range of 400,000 to 460,000 ounces.

At Papua New Guinean mine Lihir, planned and unplanned shutdowns in the September quarter led to lower mill throughput and lower head grade.

Newcrest managing director and chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas remains confident the company will still make its production guidance of 2,375,000 to 2,535,000 ounces of gold and 139,000 to 145,000 tonnes of copper in the 2020 financial year.

“Though (planned maintenance shutdowns) impacted production and all-in sustaining cost per ounce this quarter, we expect improved performance in the coming quarters and our full year guidance remains unchanged,” Biswas said.

“Our continued focus on safety has delivered a further reduction in our total recordable injury frequency rate for the quarter and is reflected in Newcrest being free of fatalities or life-altering injuries for more than four years.”

Newcrest also acquired a 70 per cent joint venture interest in the Red Chris mine in British Columbia, Canada in a deal with Imperial Metals in August.

Imperial has reported there was around 20 million ounces of gold and 13 billion pounds of copper at Red Chris, which Newcrest believes it will be able to unlock significant value from.

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