31/01/2006 - 12:53

Gold production up for Newcrest

31/01/2006 - 12:53

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Gold and copper miner Newcrest recorded the dual feats of improved gold production and lowered costs in the December quarter of 2005.

Gold production up for Newcrest

Gold and copper miner Newcrest recorded the dual feats of improved gold production and lowered costs in the December quarter of 2005.

It produced 430,009 ounces of gold in the period, up on the 337,505 ounces delivered in the September quarter last year.

In a significant result for the company, cash costs were halved to $106 an ounce, from the figure of $212 an ounce in the previous quarter.

The production result was assisted by the recently re-commissioned Telfer mine in Western Australia recording improved mill throughput, and the Ridgeway mine in New South Wales mining higher gold grades and achieving improved recovery rates.

In addition, the Cracow mine in Queensland also reported improved production, and output from the Toguraci mine in Indonesia also rose on the back of improved gold grades.

Production from the NSW Cadia Hill mine softened due to inclement weather conditions, and at Telfer Newcrest continued to have issues with the quality of the concentrate and a shortage of skilled labour.

Also with the company's gold interests, Newcrest completed a feasibility study during the quarter on the Boddington gold mine in WA, in which it has a 22.2 per cent stake.

Reserves at the project were upgraded and now stand at 2.6 million ounces of gold, while resources stand at 5.4 million ounces and the results will be discussed further with the joint venture partners, Newmont Australia and AngloGold Ashanti.

The company's copper business also enjoyed an increase in production, with copper output in the quarter increasing to 28,325 tonnes from 25,142 tonnes in the September quarter.

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