Weak gold prices, Australian charge drive Newmont's $2bn loss

Second-largest gold producer Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM) posted Friday a surprising $2 billion second-quarter loss after a major plunge in gold prices and an impairment charge related to two Australian mines.

The miner said the $1.8bn writedown was driven mainly by impairments of property, plant and mine development and other long-term assets at Boddington in Western Australia and Tanami in the Northern Territory.

The Denver-based company, which is in the process of trimming its global workforce by a third in response to weaker bullion prices and rising costs, also said sales declined 11% to $1.99 billion.

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“All our operations are actively reviewing costs in response to a lower gold price/higher cost environment," Newmont said in a statement. "We expect this may result in a reduced scope of work in some areas and a possible reduction in employees and contractors.

In June, the company slashed 38 positions, mostly in support services roles, at its regional office in Perth, adding that it plans to eliminate about a third of its Colorado workforce.

Newmont’s stock was down 1.2% to $29.7 at 10:19 ET.