TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Newmont Mining, the second-biggest gold miner by production, earned $445-million in the second quarter, 18% higher compared with a year earlier, after higher gold and copper prices offset lower production and increased costs.
Company revenue rose 11% year-on-year, to $2.4-billion, thanks to a 25% increase in the average realised gold price, to $1 501/oz. Copper also rose 62%, to $3.78/lb for the quarter.
Colorado-based Newmont has mines in the US, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, Canada, New Zealand and Mexico. The company announced earlier this week it has approved development at the big Conga project in Peru, as well as a new shaft project in Australia.
Group gold production declined 5% compared with the second quarter of 2010, while copper output was 45% lower, after the big Batu Hijau mine processed lower-grade stockpiles and the company mined lower grades at its Nevada operations.
The Boddington mine in Australia, which has had problems ramping up production since starting up in November 2009, increased gold production by 11% and copper by 7% year on year, as a result of higher throughput, the company said.
Newmont reported costs of $588/oz of gold and $1.41/lb of copper for the quarter, up from $507/oz and $0.86/lb a year earlier.
"We were also pleased with our operating performance for the quarter, with gold production consistent with our plans and operating costs trending below expectations,” CEO Richard O'Brien said in a statement.
The company said earlier this week it will pay a 50% higher dividend in the third quarter, as a result of the higher realised gold price.
The firm said on April 7 it would implement a new dividend policy that links payments to increases in the bullion price.
Newmont has maintained its annual production guidance of between 5.1-million and 5.3-million ounces of gold and 190-million to 220-million pounds of copper. The firm said in April it aims to increase group production by 35% between 2011 and 2017, to around seven-million ounces of gold.
Costs for the year are forecast at $560/oz to $590/oz for gold and between $1.25/lb and $1.50/lb for copper.
The group has also left its capital spending outlook unchanged for this year, at $2.1-billion to $2.5-billion.
Larger rival Barrick Gold said on Friday that it has increased the capital estimate for two big mines under construction, and also announced a big increase in the cost forecast for a third yet-to-be-approved project in Chile.