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Newmont sinks deeper into red in Q4'17 on charges from US tax reforms

Newmont Mining Corp. on Feb. 22 reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of US$527 million, or 99 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2017, widening year over year from a loss of US$344 million, or 65 cents per share.

The quarterly loss included net tax adjustments of US$1.30 per share, including noncash charges of US$346 million related to a remeasurement of U.S. deferred tax assets and liabilities as well as US$395 million related to tax restructuring following the enactment of the U.S. tax reforms in December 2017.

Revenue for the quarter rose 8% year over year to US$1.94 billion on increases in sales volumes and realized gold prices. The average realized gold price improved 6% to US$1,270/oz, and the average realized copper price increased 29% to US$3.20/lb.

The NYSE-listed company sold 1.4 million ounces of gold in the final quarter, up 2% year over year, while copper sales of 13,000 tonnes were 7% lower.

Attributable gold production rose 1% to 1.3 million ounces in the quarter driven by higher throughput and grades at the Merian mine in Suriname and the Tanami mine in Australia as well as a full quarter of production at the Long Canyon mine in Nevada. The improvements offset lower grades and recoveries at the Cripple Creek and Victor mine in Colorado, harder ore at the Akyem mine in Ghana and lower grades at the Boddington mine in Western Australia.

All-in sustaining costs, or AISC, for gold increased 5% to US$968/oz due to increases in unit costs, sustaining capital and development and exploration spending, while AISC for copper improved 10% to US$2.08/lb for the quarter.

CapEx for the three-month period rose 3% to US$309 million due to increased investment related to expansions at the Ahafo mine in Ghana, infrastructure for hard rock mining at Merian and the Twin Underground development at its Nevada operations.

Newmont recently declared a fourth-quarter 2017 dividend of 14 cents per share, nearly three times higher than the dividend of 5 cents per share announced the year before.

For the full year, Newmont's net loss narrowed to US$98 million, or 18 cents per share, compared to a loss of US$627 million, or US$1.18 per share, in 2016.

Annual revenue came in at US$7.35 billion, up 9% from US$6.71 billion in 2016.

Full-year attributable gold production increased 8% year on year to 5.3 million ounces, primarily due to new production from Merian and Long Canyon, which was partially offset by lower grades at Twin Creeks in Nevada, Yanacocha in Peru and Tanami as well as adverse weather conditions at Yanacocha and Tanami.

Annual copper production fell 6% to 51,000 tonnes as mining focused on gold-bearing zones at Phoenix, also part of the Nevada operations. AISC for gold rose 1% to US$924/oz, and copper AISC rose 22% to US$1.80/lb for the full year.

The company outlined production and cost guidance in December 2017, anticipating up to 5.4 million ounces of gold and up to 60,000 tonnes of copper in 2018.

CapEx in 2017 declined 24% to US$866 million as growth projects at Merian and Long Canyon concluded, which was partially offset by increased investment at Ahafo.

Newmont ended the year with US$3.3 billion in cash on hand and reduced net debt to US$800 million, an 83% decrease since 2013.