US-based gold miner Newmont Mining is slashing its corporate workforce by a third after writing down the value of its Western Australian mines by $US1.5 billion, amid weak conditions in international gold and copper markets.
Despite the write-downs, the miner said its operations performed in line with its plans.
“Excluding non-cash asset write-downs, we remain on track with our original outlook for gold and copper production, costs applicable to sales and all-in sustaining costs,” Newmont chief executive Gary Goldberg said in a statement.
"I am pleased with our progress to improve our costs and operating efficiencies across our portfolio, which has resulted in a US$362 million reduction in year-to-date spending," he said.
"We are on track to reduce our corporate workforce by more than one third, with similar efforts underway at our regional offices."
Newmont said all-in sustaining costs at the Boddington mine had reached $US1,534 per ounce for the June quarter, as gold and copper production fell by 5 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.
Excluding the impact of stockpile writedowns, the company said Boddington's all-in sustaining costs were US$1088/oz.
Across its remaining Australian mines, including Tanami, Jundee and Kalgoorlie’s Super Pit, production was up 17 per cent to 247,000oz at all-in sustaining costs of $1,417/oz for the quarter. Excluding write-downs, the all-in sustaining costs at these mines was US$1217/oz.
Newmont said it expected to produce between 700,000oz and 750,000oz at Boddington in 2013, and between 925,000oz and 975,000oz of gold across its other Australian mines over the year.
The write-downs follow 38 job cuts at Newmont’s Perth office in June, with a further 29 jobs slashed at the Tanami mine and 27 jobs shed at Boddington in the past two weeks.
The company reportedly plans to cut a total of 80 jobs at Boddington, which has about 1,000 staff and 840 contractors.