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Newcrest Mining books QOQ decline in Q4 gold, copper production, meets FY'16 guidance

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Newcrest Mining books QOQ decline in Q4 gold, copper production, meets FY'16 guidance

For the three months ended June 30, produced 598,037ounces of gold, down 6.0% from the prior quarter's production of 636,521ounces, according to the Australian producer's release.

Copper production for the quarter, meanwhile, fell to 21,228tonnes from 22,924 tonnes in the March quarter, representing a 7.4% decline.

The production in the quarter was impacted by the extendedsuspension of operationsat its Gosowongmine in Indonesia and lower-grade ore processed at the mine in New South Wales,Australia.

This was partially offset by a record gold output of 245,973ounces at the Lihir mine in Papua New Guinea.

Grinding throughput, however, decreased by 7% at Lihir to anannualized rate of 11.9 million tonnes in the June quarter, primarily due to prematurefailure of equipment, which will be replaced in the scheduled total plantshutdown which commenced this month.

Meanwhile, the ramp-up of Cadia East progressed and the minesubstantially replaced the ore volumes previously sourced from the Ridgewaymine, which was movedinto care and maintenance.

For the full financial year 2016, gold output was only 0.7%higher than the previous financial year at 2.44 million ounces, while copperproduction fell 14.2% to 83,070 tonnes.

The company's all-in sustaining cost per ounce in thequarter increased 8.9% to US$787 per ounce, which was mainly attributed to aUS$56 per ounce increase in sustaining CapEx, but Newcrest managed to cutall-in sustaining costs for the full year by 2.3% year over year to US$762 perounce.

In addition, the company reduced its net debt by 27% yearover year to US$2.1 billion, as at June 30.

Newcrest noted that it has recorded three years of meetingor exceeding group production guidance.

Full-year production fell within the company's guidance of2.4 million ounces to 2.6 million ounces of gold and 80,000 tonnes to 90,000tonnes of copper, meeting the lower end of the guidance for both commodities.