Newcrest Mining Limited - Quarterly Report for the three months ending 31 December 2012

MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - Newcrest Mining Limited ("Newcrest" or "the Company") (ASX: NCM) (TSX: NM) is pleased to announce its quarterly report for the period ended 31 December 2012.

Major project milestones achieved

Newcrest's two major expansion projects, comprising the Cadia East development and the Lihir Million Ounce Plant Upgrade ("MOPU"), both achieved major milestones during the quarter. Production volume from Cadia East continued to ramp up and commercial production milestones were achieved by the end of December 2012; first commercial production commenced from 1 January 2013. The Lihir MOPU project is in the final stages of commissioning which is expected to be complete by the end of January 2013, after which production ramp up commences. Both projects have a forecast final cost within 8% of their budget.

The successful completion of these two major projects represents a significant milestone for Newcrest.  Together, Lihir MOPU and Cadia East establish the platform to enable delivery of significant production growth in both gold and copper over the next five years at lower unit cash costs.

Production for the December 2012 quarter was 492,906 ounces of gold and 19,926 tonnes of copper. Gold and copper production increased 7% over the September 2012 quarter. The Company's gold and copper production is expected to progressively increase over the remainder of the financial year.

Cash costs were A$727 per ounce and cash margins were A$924 per ounce in the quarter. Total production cost was A$1,031 per ounce.  Unit costs were marginally higher in the quarter primarily due to increased mining and milling activity, the effects of reduced grade at Gosowong and Lihir, and a larger production contribution from the higher cost Telfer operation.  Cash costs are expected to reduce over the next two quarters as Cadia East and Lihir MOPU volumes make a larger contribution to total production.

Exploration drilling activities achieved promising results in West Africa and Fiji.  In PNG, appraisal drilling results at Golpu indicate improved gold and copper grades in the proposed first lift of the block cave and have enhanced the understanding of the orebody structure.

During the December 2012 quarter, Newcrest completed the sale of a 7.5% interest in PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals (PTNHM), the incorporated joint venture company that owns the Gosowong operation.  The sale was to our existing joint venture partner, PT Aneka Tambang (Antam). New enterprise agreements for Telfer and Cadia Valley employees, each with four year duration, were successfully completed during the December 2012 quarter.

Guidance

Financial year 2013 group guidance ranges for gold and copper production and site costs remain unchanged. Newcrest's total gold production is expected to be at the low end of the 2.3 to 2.5Moz guidance range.

Key Points

  • Quarterly gold production 492,906oz (460,425oz in the September 2012 quarter)
  • Quarterly copper production 19,926t (18,598t)
  • Quarterly cash cost A$727/oz (A$703/oz) and gross cash margin A$924/oz (A$880/oz)
  • Cadia East project achieved first commercial production milestones by the end of December 2012
  • Lihir MOPU project in final stages of commissioning; expected project completion by end January 2013
  • High grade mineralisation identified at Hiré and Bouaflé in West Africa
  • Promising drill results in the Waivaka corridor in Fiji
  • Higher gold and copper grades identified at Golpu Lift 1
  • Sale of  7.5% interest in PTNHM to Antam
  • New four-year enterprise agreements in place for employees at Telfer and Cadia Valley

Copies of the full Quarterly Release and presentation can be found on Newcrest's website www.newcrest.com.au and on www.sedar.com.

Forward Looking Statements
These materials include forward looking statements. Often, but not always, forward looking statements can generally be identified by the use of forward looking words such as "may", "will", "expect", "intend", "plan", "estimate", "anticipate", "continue", and "guidance", or other similar words and may include, without limitation, statements regarding plans, strategies and objectives of management, anticipated production or construction commencement dates and expected costs or production outputs.

Forward looking statements inherently involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the company's actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements. Relevant factors may include, but are not limited to, changes in commodity prices, foreign exchange fluctuations and general economic conditions, increased costs and demand for production inputs, the speculative nature of exploration and project development, including the risks of obtaining necessary licenses and permits and diminishing quantities or grades of reserves, political and social risks, changes to the regulatory framework within which the company operates or may in the future operate, environmental conditions including extreme weather conditions, recruitment and retention of personnel, industrial relations issues and litigation.

Forward looking statements are based on the company and its management's good faith assumptions relating to the financial, market, regulatory and other relevant environments that will exist and affect the company's business and operations in the future.  The company does not give any assurance that the assumptions on which forward looking statements are based will prove to be correct, or that the company's business or operations will not be affected in any material manner by these or other factors not foreseen or foreseeable by the company or management or beyond the company's control.

Although the company attempts and has attempted to identify factors that would cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those disclosed in forward looking statements, there may be other factors that could cause actual results, performance, achievements or events not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended, and many events are beyond the reasonable control of the company.  Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward looking statements.  Forward looking statements in these materials speak only at the date of issue. Subject to any continuing obligations under applicable law or any relevant stock exchange listing rules, in providing this information the company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any of the forward looking statements or to advise of any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources Reporting Requirements
As an Australian company with securities listed on the Australian Securities Exchange ("ASX"), Newcrest is subject to Australian disclosure requirements and standards, including the requirements of the Corporations Act and the ASX. Investors should note that it is a requirement of the ASX listing rules that the reporting of ore reserves and mineral resources in Australia comply with the 2004 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the "JORC Code") and that Newcrest's ore reserve and mineral resource estimates comply with the JORC Code. As a company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX"), Newcrest is subject to certain Canadian disclosure requirements and standards, including the requirements of National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects of the Canadian Securities Administrators ("NI 43-101").  In accordance with NI 43-101, Newcrest reports its ore reserves and mineral resources estimates in compliance with the JORC Code, along with reconciliation to the material differences between the JORC Code and the applicable definitions adopted by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM Definition Standards). There are no material differences between the definitions of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources, and Proven and Probable Reserves, under the CIM Definition Standards and the equivalent or corresponding definitions in the JORC Code.

Competent Person's Statement
The information in this quarterly report that relates to Exploration Results and other scientific and technical information is based on information compiled by C. Moorhead, EGM Minerals for Newcrest Mining Limited who is a Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and a full-time employee of Newcrest Mining Limited. Mr Moorhead has sufficient experience which is relevant to the styles of mineralisation and types of deposits under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the JORC Code and is a Qualified Person within the meaning of NI 43-101. Mr Moorhead consents to and has approved the inclusion in this quarterly report of the matters based on this information in the form and context in which it appears including sampling, analytical and test data underlying the results.  For details of exploration reports refer to the Newcrest website at www.newcrest.com.au.

Exploration Target
The potential quantity and grade related to any Exploration Target identified in this report is conceptual in nature as there has been insufficient exploration to define a Mineral Resource. It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the determination of a Mineral Resource.  Refer to Newcrest's detailed exploration summary on our website at www.newcrest.com.au and on www.sedar.com.

SOURCE: Newcrest Mining Limited

For further information:

Investor Enquiries - North America/Europe 

Steve Warner 
T: +1 212 351 5064 
E: steve.warner@newcrest.com.au 

Investor Enquiries - Australia/Asia 

Spencer Cole 
T: +61 3 9522 5316 
E: spencer.cole@newcrest.com.au

Media Enquiries

Kerrina Watson
T: +61 3 9522 5593
E:kerrina.watson@newcrest.com.au

This information is available on our website at www.newcrest.com.au and www.sedar.com