S&P downgrades Newcrest

Ratings agency warns on miner's reduced margins and weaker gold prices.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded its rating on Newcrest Mining (NCM) due to weaker gold prices, reduced margins and lower than expected production.

In a statement, S&P said it lowered Newcrest to BBB- with a stable outlook, from BBB.

S&P credit analyst Brenda Wardlaw said the group's cash flow protection metrics were below expectations for the BBB rating.

"We expect no material improvement in production for fiscal 2014, which combined with the ongoing weakness in gold prices and recently higher production costs, will restrict the company's ability to restore its metrics in the near term," Ms Wardlaw said.

Ratings agency Moody's also recently downgraded Newcrest's credit rating after the gold miner announced $6 billion in asset writedowns, which later blew out to $6.23 billion (see Tim Treadgold's Digging down into the Newcrest cave-in).