Bloomberg News

Newcrest Quarterly Gold Output Falls 13% on Heavy Rain

November 02, 2011

(Updates to add CEO comment in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s largest gold mining company, reported first-quarter gold output fell 13 percent after a maintenance shutdown and heavy rain.

Production was 587,296 ounces in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with 674,219 ounces a year ago, the Melbourne-based company said today in a statement. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc forecast 589,000 ounces.

Newcrest increased its short-term loan facilities with eight banks to $2 billion from $1.1 billion and said it was given credit ratings by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service. The world’s fourth-biggest producer by market value mines in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Africa.

The company would seek “long-term, cheaper” funding from U.S. debt markets, Chief Executive Officer Greg Robinson said today on a call with analysts.

Newcrest shares fell 6.4 percent to close at A$33.45 in Sydney trading as gold prices declined. They have dropped 17 percent this year.

Standard & Poor’s gave a BBB+ rating, its third-lowest investment grade, while Moody’s rated the company one rung lower at Baa2.

“Moody’s estimates that this would require around A$6 billion ($6.1 billion) in capital spending over the next five years,” the agency said yesterday in a statement. “In addition, Moody’s expects Newcrest to spend around A$3 billion on other growth initiatives during the period.”

Newcrest plans to boost production to 4 million ounces a year by 2016, compared Copper output for the quarter was 19,228 metric tons, up from 17,693 tons a year ago, Newcrest said. with current output levels of about 2.7 million ounces.

Gold in New York has slumped since reaching a record $1,923 an ounce on Sept. 6 and traded at $1,612.80 an ounce at 4:25 p.m. Sydney time.

--Editors: Keith Gosman, Andrew Hobbs

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisabeth Behrmann in Sydney at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebecca Keenan at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net


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