Newcrest First-Half Profit Falls 55% on Weaker Metals Prices

Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s biggest gold producer, said first-half earnings fell 55 percent on weaker prices for bullion and copper.

Net income fell to $81 million in the six months to Dec. 31, compared to $180 million in the same period a year earlier, Melbourne-based Newcrest said Monday in a statement.

Gold booked its third annual loss in 2015, the longest run since 1998, as the dollar surged on the back of tighter monetary policy in the U.S., mirroring the collapse in prices of commodities from iron ore to oil. Prices declined 10 percent in the December half, Newcrest said.

Newcrest is seeking to add production growth through optimization at its Lihir mine, potential development of its Wafi-Golpu project and by participation in early stage exploration, Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Biswas said in the statement. Efforts are continuing to rescue a trapped employee at an underground mine in Indonesia, stranded since a rockfall at the operation, he said.