Newcrest has revealed that gold production in Q4 2018 was 19% higher than the prior quarter, driven by improved production from all operations.
Cadia achieved record gold and copper production and Lihir’s improved production performance reflected less planned downtime and higher head grades than the prior quarter.
Elsewhere, Telfer increased production as a result of higher productivity from the underground mine which enabled increased mill throughput and improved recovery. At Gosowong, higher head grade and mill throughput delivered higher gold production.
Group gold production in the quarter was 7% higher than in the corresponding prior period (the December 2017 quarter). Newcrest’s AISC for the December 2018 quarter of $720 per ounce was a 7% improvement on the prior quarter and a 13% improvement on the corresponding prior period. The improvement in AISC per ounce primarily reflects a combination of higher production and sales, the impact of favourable exchange rates on operating costs and increased copper by-product credits.
Production guidance for FY19 remains unchanged, with the expectation that gold production in the second half of the financial year will be higher than the first half due to there being fewer planned shutdown events scheduled in the second half of the year.
Newcrest Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Biswas, commented: “Record production at Cadia and another sound performance from Lihir underpinned a strong start to the financial year, with a higher AISC margin than the same time last year despite lower gold and copper prices. Our first half production performance establishes a great platform from which to deliver strong results for the remainder of the financial year.
“Whilst the December quarter saw an increase in our TRIFR for the first time in four quarters, our injury rate for the half year is below that for the same period last year. Though our injury rates are amongst the lowest in our industry, we continue our efforts to drive improvement through our safety transformation program with a focus on fatality prevention.”
Q4 2018 Highlights:
- Gold production of 655koz, up 19% on the September 2018 quarter
- Copper production of 27kt, up 8% on the September 2018 quarter
- Group AISC of $720/oz, lower by $58/oz compared to the September 2018 quarter
- Group AISC margin of $515/oz, higher by $74/oz compared to the September 2018 quarter
- Record quarterly and half year gold production of 239koz and 453koz respectively at Cadia
- Record low quarterly AISC of $121/oz achieved at Cadia
- All sites increased gold production and reduced AISC per ounce compared to September 2018 quarter
- Early works on next block cave at Cadia (PC2-3) commenced