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Newcrest Mining Limited : Guidance Update

04/23/2012 | 08:12pm US/Eastern
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Market Release

Newcrest Mining Limited

24 April 2012

Guidance Update

Newcrest's Board and Management recently undertook its annual strategy review which comprises a comprehensive review of industry conditions, business objectives, key strategies and operating performance.
Newcrest's key objectives were reaffirmed: we will focus on gold, securing high quality resources and converting these resources into low cost, high margin operations. Newcrest will continue operating sustainably and profitably, having regard to the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, the environment and the communities in which we operate.
The review of industry and operating conditions focused on the following pressures being experienced by Newcrest:
1. The resources industry is facing continued high cost inflation in relation to energy, labour, contractors and suppliers, and a decline in labour productivity.
2. Our operating regions have currencies that have experienced sustained strength relative to the US$ in which our products are sold. This is impacting both operations and projects, particularly labour and energy costs.
3. Continuation of the shortage and high turnover of people with the experience and skills required to deliver on plans.
4. The co-existence of major capital projects of considerable scale at two of the largest operational sites (Cadia Valley and Lihir) creating greater complexity and the risk of more variation in production. In particular, pre- commercial production ore sourced from Cadia East has been lower than expected.
5. The effects of long term underinvestment in fixed plant maintenance at Lihir that has caused production disruptions.
Newcrest remains confident in Lihir's long term potential that will be realised by sustainable production growth at a low cash cost with resource and reserve increases. Newcrest is also confident that Cadia East will realise targeted medium term production at low cash costs.
These industry and operating conditions have been present for a while but it is now apparent that the impacts have become more significant over the past 12 months and particularly in the last quarter. The resulting short term production performance has been unacceptable to the Board and Management. In response, Newcrest has significantly intensified its focus on operating excellence, and cost and capital control, and has re-assessed short term guidance.

Guidance

Following review, gold production for the 2012 financial year will be reduced from 2.43 to 2.55 million ounces to 2.25 to
2.35 million ounces.

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