Newcrest output sinks 15%

Business, Normal

The National, Friday July 27th, 2012

HEAVY rain and operational difficulties pushed Newcrest Mining Ltd’s annual gold output 15% lower, keeping Australia’s largest gold producer by market value from capitalising fully on a year in which the precious metal’s value climbed to record highs.
Newcrest, which twice revised its production guidance lower during the year through June 30, grappled with bad weather at its Papua New Guinea mining operation and a prolonged plant shutdown.
A deluge in Australia’s New South Wales state late last year also triggered a landslip at its Cadia open pit, halting mining and temporarily restricting access for heavy vehicles.
“Operations have been put under stress, and there have been hiccups along the way, as miners have tried to capture the rising gold price,” Tim Schroeders, portfolio manager at Pengana Capital, said.
 “This is not a Newcrest-specific issue, though, and is more symptomatic of industry trends globally.”
Chief executive Greg Robinson declined to provide much detail on the miner’s expectations for the year ahead –  an update on which will be given in next month’s financial results.
He said Newcrest is sticking with its 2013 guidance range of 700,000 ounces to 900,000 ounces for its Lihir mine, as announced