(Reuters) -Newmont Corp, the world’s top gold producer, cut its annual production target by 500,000 ounces on Thursday, citing a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic and other operational issues, after its quarterly adjusted profit missed market estimates.
Miners have been hard hit by the pandemic-led rise in expenses as they implement COVID-19 prevention measures to ensure the safety of workers and surrounding communities, and from supply chain issues due to global restrictions on movement.
The company said its Tanami mine in Australia was placed under care and maintenance due to COVID-19 restrictions, while Canadian sites witnessed pandemic-related absenteeism and a tightening of the labor market, pushing production lower in both the countries.
Newmont also said its Boddington mine in Australia was hit by severe weather and operational delays, while production at its Nevada gold mines was expected to be at the lower end of its annual forecast ranges.
The company raised its forecast for all-in sustaining costs (AISC) to $1,050 per ounce, $80 higher than its previous outlook, citing lower production and increased royalties and taxes.
Newmont now expects annual attributable gold production of about 6 million ounces, compared with 6.5 million ounces forecast earlier.
The company’s third-quarter adjusted profit fell 30% to $483 million, or 60 cents per share, as bullion prices and sales declined.
Average prices for Newmont’s gold was $1,778, down $135 per ounce from a year earlier, while attributable gold production fell 6% to 1.45 million ounces.
Gold AISC for the quarter rose 10% to $1,120 per ounce, due to lower sales, higher diesel costs and increased capital spend.
Newmont said it now expects an investment decision on its Yanacocha Sulfides project to expand gold production in Peru in the second half of 2022, a month after the company said the project had been delayed.
(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru;Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)