(Reuters) – Australia’s Newcrest Mining Ltd posted a 10% sequential rise in third-quarter gold output on Thursday, helped by higher mill throughput rates at its Cadia mine and the addition of the Brucejack project after its acquisition of Pretium Resources.
Gold miners have benefited from a near 6% jump in prices of the safe-haven commodity in the March quarter as geopolitical tensions due to the Russia-Ukraine war boosted demand for the yellow metal.
Newcrest, the country’s largest gold miner, said output was 479,839 ounces for the three months ended March 31, compared with 436,085 ounces in the previous quarter, but missed brokerage Citi’s estimate of 535,000 ounces.
Production at Newcrest’s flagship Cadia gold mine in New South Wales soared 30% sequentially, due to improved mill capacity following the planned replacement and upgrade of its semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill motor.
Newcrest slightly raised its annual gold production forecast to between 1.93 million ounces and 2.03 million ounces from 1.8 million ounces to 2 million ounces, on the back of additional output it can extract from Brucejack and the Fruta del Norte mine in Ecuador.
The company also cut its capital expenditure forecast to between $1.44 billion and $1.52 billion from $1.55 billion to $1.73 billion, due to disruptions to projects from COVID-19 and expected reduced activity at its Lihir mine.
(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Roushni Nair in Bengluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)