Newcrest posts sequential fall in output on mine shutdowns
Newcrest Mining reported a 4% sequential fall in third-quarter gold output today, hit by planned maintenance and outages at its flagship Cadia mine in New South Wales and its Lihir project in Papua New Guinea.
Australia’s largest listed gold miner posted production of 512,424 ounces for the three months ended March 31, lower than 535,477 ounces in the previous quarter. But it beat an RBC estimate of 491,539 ounces.
Gold miners had a strong year in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic and accompanying economic uncertainty fuelled demand for safe-haven assets, but bullion prices have retreated this year as an economic recovery picks up steam.
Newcrest’s realised gold price in the quarter was $1,751 per ounce, compared with $1,815 per ounce in the prior quarter.
Miners are also recording an uptick in costs related to managing coronavirus outbreaks at projects, with Newcrest saying in December it expected pandemic-associated costs to be between $60mn and $70mn for the year.
However, the company said it had experienced no material disruption to operations to date due to Covid-19.
Unmanned train to allow Vale to reopen iron ore plant
Brazilian miner Vale SA will be able to resume operations at its Timbopeba iron ore dry processing plant in up to two months thanks to the use of an unmanned train, the company said in a statement this week.
Vale - Timbopeba iro ore plant
With the train, Timbopeba will be able to operate at least at 80% of its capacity of 33,000 tonnes of iron ore “fines” per day, reports Reuters.
Vale was forced to shut down the plant in the Alegria mine complex recently after labor authorities in Minas Gerais state banned activities close to the Xingu dam due to concerns of a risk of collapse.
Vale said access by workers and vehicles continues to be suspended in the flood zone of the dam due to the ban even though it remains at emergency level 2, which means there no imminent risk of rupture.
But some workers are allowed entry under strict security precautions and they will get the unmanned train going once it has been tested, which would take between one and two months, the company said.
The unmanned train will travel automatically along 16 kilometers (10 miles) of track operated by a system that can control the speed and activate the brakes, Vale said.
Vale announces first ore at Voisey’s Bay mine extension
Vale has reached the milestone of first ore production at the Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project in Northern Labrador, Canada - recognised as the safest mine in Canada.