Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM.AU, NCMGY, NM.T), Australia's largest producer of gold, again cut its output target for the financial year Tuesday following heavy rains and production disruptions at key operations.
Gold production for the year through June is now expected to be between 2.25 million and 2.35 million ounces, rather than the 2.43 million to 2.55 million previously forecast, the Melbourne company said. It also reduced its guidance for annual copper production to a range of 70,000 to 75,000 metric tons from the 75,000 to 80,000 tons previously forecast.
Newcrest said it produced 532,237 ounces of gold and 18,072 tons of copper in the March quarter, down 12% and 10% respectively year-on-year.
The gold producer in February warned its production target for the year was at risk due to continuing disruptions to its Lihir mining operations in Papua New Guinea.
The production forecast was cut in December from an August estimate of a rise in output to as much as 2.925 million ounces. Newcrest produced 2.7 million ounces in the last financial year, assuming a full year of output from Lihir Gold Ltd., which it bought for roughly A$9.5 billion (US$9.8 billion) in a deal that became effective in August 2010.
Newcrest operates eight mines in Australia, Indonesia, Ivory Coast and Papua New Guinea.
-By Robb M. Stewart, Dow Jones Newswires; +61 3 9292 2094; firstname.lastname@example.org