Newmont sees earnings dive on dismal output

Newmont Mining's (NYSE:NEM) second quarter earnings plunged 28% compared to the same period last year on reduced gold and copper output.

Faster than expected increases in costs also contributed to the US gold giant falling short of analysts estimates.

The company has now reduced its full-year production expectations by 100,000 ounces to 5 to 5.1 million ounces due to the reduced output of the Tanami mine in Australia.

The outlook for copper production has also been lowered, with full-year output down five million pounds at between 145 and 165 million.

The company announced yesterday that it was lowering its 2012 capital expenditure outlook to $2.7 billion to $3 billion from $3 billion to $3.3 billion, and would adopt a more moderate pace in the development of its controversial Minas Conga project in Peru.

Despite the dour news, Newmont raised its quarterly dividend 17% year-on-year to $0.35 per share.

Newmont is the US's largest gold producer and the world's second largest gold producer after Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp. The company owns mines in the Americas, the Asia-Pacific and Africa, and is currently expanding its Tanami operations in Australia as well as developing a new mine in Ghana.

Newmont was forced to suspend construction of its $4.8 billion Minas Conga project in Peru for six months starting in November following clashes between police and protestors.