Newcrest Mining Limited - quarterly report for the three months ending 31 December 2012
Thursday, Jan 24, 2013
MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - Newcrest Mining Limited ("Newcrest" or "the Company") (ASX: NCM) (TSX: NM) is pleased to announce its quarterly report for the period ended 31 December 2012.

Major project milestones achieved

Newcrest's two major expansion projects, comprising the Cadia East development and the Lihir Million Ounce Plant Upgrade ("MOPU"), both achieved major milestones during the quarter. Production volume from Cadia East continued to ramp up and commercial production milestones were achieved by the end of December 2012; first commercial production commenced from 1 January 2013. The Lihir MOPU project is in the final stages of commissioning which is expected to be complete by the end of January 2013, after which production ramp up commences. Both projects have a forecast final cost within 8% of their budget.

The successful completion of these two major projects represents a significant milestone for Newcrest.  Together, Lihir MOPU and Cadia East establish the platform to enable delivery of significant production growth in both gold and copper over the next five years at lower unit cash costs.

Production for the December 2012 quarter was 492,906 ounces of gold and 19,926 tonnes of copper. Gold and copper production increased 7% over the September 2012 quarter. The Company's gold and copper production is expected to progressively increase over the remainder of the financial year.

Cash costs were A$727 per ounce and cash margins were A$924 per ounce in the quarter. Total production cost was A$1,031 per ounce.  Unit costs were marginally higher in the quarter primarily due to increased mining and milling activity, the effects of reduced grade at Gosowong and Lihir, and a larger production contribution from the higher cost Telfer operation.  Cash costs are expected to reduce over the next two quarters as Cadia East and Lihir MOPU volumes make a larger contribution to total production.

Exploration drilling activities achieved promising results in West Africa and Fiji.  In PNG, appraisal drilling results at Golpu indicate improved gold and copper grades in the proposed first lift of the block cave and have enhanced the understanding of the orebody structure.

During the December 2012 quarter, Newcrest completed the sale of a 7.5% interest in PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals (PTNHM), the incorporated joint venture company that owns the Gosowong operation.  The sale was to our existing joint venture partner, PT Aneka Tambang (Antam). New enterprise agreements for Telfer and Cadia Valley employees, each with four year duration, were successfully completed during the December 2012 quarter.

Source: Newcrest Mining Limited

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