Newmont profit soars on higher gold prices, claims top bullion miner title
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) logged Thursday a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on the back of higher gold prices during the first three months of the year, as investors have returned to safe haven assets due to ongoing geopolitical risks.
The US miner, the only gold company that forms part of the S&P500 index, earned a quarterly profit of $192 million, or 36 cents a diluted share, compared with $47 million, or 9 cents, for the year-earlier period.
Investors had predicted a profit of $165.9 million, or 32 cents a share, according to FactSet.
Despite seeing gold output decline by 2%, Newmont claimed the title of world’s biggest bullion producer in Q1 as it surpassed rival Barrick by 16,000 ounces.
The Greenwood Village, Colorado-based firm, which has operations in the Americas, Africa and Australia, said total gold production dropped by 2% to 1.21 million ounces. Yet, volumes were higher than rival Barrick Gold's (TSX:ABX) first-quarter output of 1.05 million ounces.
Quarterly attributable copper production from the company's Phoenix project in Nevada and Boddington in Australia also fell 8% to 12,000 tonnes.
Despite the output decrease, Newmont backed its 2018 production guidance of 4.9 to 5.4 million ounces of gold, and 40,000 to 60,000 tonnes of copper.
It also said that both costs and production remained in line with expectations, adding that the company’s next generation mines — Ahafo North, Yanacocha Sulfides and Long Canyon Phase 2 — advanced on schedule to the next stage of development study.
Over the past three years, the company has built new mines at Merian (in Suriname) and Long Canyon (in the US), and delivered profitable expansions at Tanami and Cripple Creek & Victor, also in the US.
Last year alone, the miner increased its exploration and advanced projects investments by about 25%, with roughly two-thirds of that amount going to fund more brownfield and greenfield exploration.