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Newcrest Mining posts 16% fall in gold

Australia’s Newcrest Mining Ltd posted a 16% fall in second-quarter gold output on Thursday due to shutdowns at its Lihir mine and said shipments from its flagship Cadia mine in New South Wales were delayed by the recent bushfires.

The bushfires had no direct impact on the Cadia mine but damaged trainlines and associated infrastructure that delayed the shipments, the country’s biggest independent gold miner said.

“Additional trains have been scheduled and the expectation is that these concentrate stocks will be cleared in the March 2020 quarter,” the miner said in a statement.

Bushfires in Australia have killed 33 people and about 1 billion animals since September, while some 2,500 homes and an area the size of Greece have been destroyed.

Cadia mine reported a 40% increase in production from the previous quarter.

The Melbourne-based company also said Papua New Guinea withdrew support for a memorandum of understanding related to the Wafi-Golpu joint venture (WGIV) due to delays caused by legal proceedings.

“(Papua New Guinea) intends to resolve legal proceedings and to work with the WGIV to expedite the project permitting discussions,” the miner said.

The PNG government in September said it wants to keep 40% of gold produced from the proposed project, creating potential hurdles for Newcrest and co-owner Harmony Gold (HARJ.J).

Total gold production fell to 551,115 ounces in the three months ended Dec. 31, from 654,849 ounces a year earlier, hit by several shutdowns at its Lihir mine in Papua New Guinea.

Newcrest maintained its fiscal 2020 gold production forecast of between 2.38 million ounces (moz) and 2.54 moz.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-newcrest-output/newcrest-second-quarter-gold-output-drops-bushfires-delay-flagship-mine-shipments-idUSKBN1ZS32O

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