Gold miner Newcrest expects gold production to progressively increase over the remainder of the year after a fall in quarterly production due to processing interruptions.
The world’s third largest gold miner on Thursday said guidance for production, costs and capital expenditure remained unchanged as expansions at Cadia and Lihir neared completion.
Gold production for the September 2012 quarter was 460,425 ounces, down from 587,310 ounces in the June quarter, while copper production fell to 18,598 tonnes, down from 20,544 tonnes.
Gold production at Cadia Valley was down 19 per cent lower on the previous three months, due to the cessation of mining of the Cadia Hill open pit as the Cadia East underground mine, in central western NSW, ramps up.
Newcrest also reported a 21 per cent fall in quarterly gold production at its flagship Lihir operation in Papua New Guinea, due to a production interruption and a dispute involving the Lihir Mining Area Landowners Association.
Gold production at Telfer was 16 per cent lower than the previous quarter, due to a planned maintenance shutdown.
Newcrest said its major project expansions at Cadia Valley and Lihir were nearing completion and both remained on schedule.
‘The Lihir MOPU project is expected to be completed in the December 2012 quarter,’ the company said in a statement.
‘Cadia East is on schedule to achieve first commercial production in the December 2012 quarter.’
The company reiterated that it expected total gold production in the 2012/13 financial year to be in a range of 2.3 million to 2.5 million ounces.
Newcrest operates mines in four countries: Australia, PNG, Indonesia and Ivory Coast.
It focuses on two major growth projects, the Cadia East underground mine in central western NSW – which will be Australia’s largest underground mine – and Lihir Million Ounce Plant Upgrade project in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
It also aims to have the Wafi-Golpu gold/copper project in PNG in production by the end of the decade.