Commodities, Gold, News, Production

Newcrest regains momentum

Newcrest

Newcrest Mining enjoyed an improved December quarter, with its gold mines experiencing a reduction in planned and unplanned maintenance activities.

Group gold production was 10 per cent higher than the previous quarter of 2021, with the increase assisted by the improved mill capacity at Newcrest’s Cadia gold mine in New South Wales.

Cadia produced 115,362 ounces of gold for the December quarter, with the mine continuing its recovery following the planned replacement and upgrade of its semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill motor completed in November 2021.

Mill throughput rates were also improved at the company’s Telfer gold operations in Western Australia and Lihir gold mine in Papua New Guinea, which increased their quarterly gold production by 12 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively.

Newcrest chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas said completing the mill upgrade at Cadia was an important milestone for the company.

“It was a tremendous achievement for our team to safely complete the replacement and upgrade of the SAG mill motor at Cadia, which is now operating at full capacity,” he said.

“It was also pleasing to receive approval to increase the permitted processing capacity at Cadia from 32 Mtpa (million tonnes per annum) to 35 Mtpa during the period. Across all our operations, we are well positioned for a strong second half and remain on track to meet our 2022 financial year guidance.”

Newcrest’s all-in sustaining cost (AISC) reduced by 11 per cent in the December quarter to $US1127 ($1601) per ounce.

The company put this down to a range of factors, including increased gold and copper sales volumes, a higher realised copper price, and lower sustaining capital and production stripping expenditure.

The news comes as Newcrest took one step closer to acquiring Canada-based Pretium Resources, after more than 95 per cent of Pretium shareholders voted in voted in favour of the acquisition last week.

Pretium is the owner of the Tier 1 Brucejack gold mine in Canada, considered one of the highest-grade operating gold mines in the world.

The transaction still requires the tick of approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Investment Canada Act. The transaction is expected to be completed in the March quarter of 2022.

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