Newcrest lifts gold production

Miner reaffirms guidance, expects gold production to be around top end of forecast range for fiscal 2014.

Newcrest Mining (NCM) has maintained its guidance after lifting gold production in the December quarter, with fiscal 2014 gold production expected to be around the top of its forecast range, or around 2.3 million ounces.

In its December quarter report to the Australian Securities Exchange, Newcrest said its group all-in sustaining costs are forecast to be around the lower end of its guidance range, subject to market conditions.

Its gold production was 621,125 ounces in the three months to December, with an average realised gold price of $1,372 per ounce.

This compares with 492,906 ounces of gold produced in the December 2012 quarter and the group atrributed the lift to an increase in production at Telfer.

Copper production was 22,603 tonnes in the quarter, up from 19,926 tonnes in the December 2012 quarter.

Silver production was 616,026 ounces in the quarter, up from 494,146 ounces in the previous corresponding period.

The group's all-in sustaining costs for the quarter were $921 per ounce, and the all-in sustaining cost at each operation was below the average realised gold price for the quarter.

"In the context of the continuing challenges for the gold industry, Newcrest is maintaining its focus on improving productivity, reducing costs and capital expenditure, maximising free cash flow and maintaining growth options," chief executive officer Greg Robinson said.

The miner also noted an increase in the mill throughput at Lihir, enabling a lift in the proportion of ore processed from stockpiles.

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