MELBOURNE, Australia, April 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Newcrest Mining Limited ("the Company") (ASX: NCM) (TSX: NM) is pleased to announce its quarterly report for the period ended 31 March 2013.
Newcrest's production for the March 2013 quarter was 514,421 ounces of gold and 19,023 tonnes of copper at a cash cost of $799 per ounce and a cash margin of $785 per ounce. Gold production was 4% higher than achieved in the December 2012 quarter.
The new and expanded operations at Cadia East and Lihir performed to plan in the March 2013 quarter. The Cadia East mine operated as expected and during the quarter the second phase primary crusher was commissioned on time. At Lihir, the new plant performed as expected and, importantly, the new autoclave performance achieved nameplate capacity.Quarterly production was adversely impacted at both Lihir and Gosowong, as discussed in the 28 March 2013 release. At Lihir the repair of Autoclave 1 is now complete and at Gosowong access to the higher grade ore zones has been re-established. Exploration results at Telfer, Gosowong, Côte d'Ivoire and Wafi-Golpu were encouraging. These programs will continue to be the focus of the next six months of drilling activity. The Cadia East Lift 2 project is progressing well and remains on track for completion in the 2014 financial year. The flotation upgrade and NCA refurbishment projects at Lihir are also progressing in line with plan and will be completed in the second half of the 2013 calendar year. Completion and commissioning of the Hidden Valley primary crusher is expected in May 2013. Newcrest's project study effort remains focused on Wafi-Golpu. Good drilling results and better metallurgical recoveries continue to improve the project economics for Golpu. Work by the Golpu study team is targeted at achieving a lower cost approach to first production.