Melbourne-based Newcrest Mining Ltd on Thursday reported a record half-year profit for the six months ending 31 December. The gold miner posted an underlying profit of $553 million, which is nearly double that of the $280 million posted during the same period in 2019.
Profits boosted by gold prices, increased production
Newcrest reported that the surge in underlying half-year profit was driven by the higher realised gold prices and increased production at the company’s flagship mine in NSW. Newcrest noted in a statement that the realised gold prices were $1,826 per ounce when compared to $1,446 per ounce a year earlier.
Interim dividend doubled
Newcrest announced an interim dividend of 15 cents per share, which is double that of what was announced last year. The company said that it is also boosting its dividend policy and is now targeting a total annual dividend payout of 30-60% of free cash flow.
Full-year copper, gold forecast
The company did not make any amendments to its previously stated full-year gold and copper forecast. However, Newcrest revised its all-in sustaining costs (AISC) expenditure for the full year to be near the top end of the $1,800 to $1,950 per ounce estimated range.
Lihir gold mine potential
Newcrest announced that following the completion of an optimisation study, the company is anticipating an improvement in higher-grade ore from the Lihir project in Papua New Guinea. The company expressed confidence that the project had the potential to deliver an additional 1.4 million ounces of contained gold to the mill between 2022 and 2034.