Newcrest Third-Quarter Gold Output Rises to Beat Estimates

  • Rising production in Australia offset disruption in Indonesia
  • Producer is continuing to assess options for Hidden Valley JV

Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s biggest gold producer, reported third-quarter output rose 4 percent as rising production at its Cadia mine offset a disruption in Indonesia.

Output was 636,521 ounces in the three months ended March 31, from 610,186 ounces a year earlier, the Melbourne-based company said Tuesday in a statement. That beat the 611,000 ounce median estimates among four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“It was a quarter with a number of challenges, although it is pleasing to have increased our production and lowered our all-in sustaining cost per ounce in the quarter,” Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Biswas said in the statement. Mining and processing operations were disrupted at the Gosowong complex in Indonesia following a geotechnical event in February, when a worker was trapped and later rescued.

Gold posted its biggest gain in three decades in the March quarter amid financial market volatility and investor concern about the outlook for global growth. Newcrest has taken advantage of the spike to lock in pricing for more than half a million ounces of output as Biswas trims costs, increases production and reduces leverage.

Newcrest rose 1.3 percent to A$18.13 at 11:03 a.m. in Sydney, extending its gain to 40 percent so far this year.

The company cut its costs to an average of $723 an ounce in the third quarter and held its forecast of full-year production guidance of between 2.4 million and 2.6 million ounces in the 12 months through June 30, it said in the statement.

Newcrest and Harmony Gold Mining Co. are continuing “to assess all strategic options in relation to the future,” of their Hidden Valley joint venture in Papua New Guinea, the Australian producer said. Options include the closure or sale of the mine, Harmony’s CEO Peter Steenkamp said in February on a call with reporters.

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