Newmont lowers 2020 guidance after halting four mines

Musselwhite is a fly-in, fly-out operation located about 500 km north of Thunder Bay, Ontario. (Image courtesy of Newmont.)

Newmont (NYSE: NEM, TSX: NGT), the world’s largest gold miner, withdrew on Monday its full-year 2020 guidance after placing four of its operations into temporary care and maintenance as part of global efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company now expects to churn out about 1.4 million attributable gold ounces and roughly 325,000 co-product gold equivalent ounces in the first three months of the year. This, despite mines representing 80% of its production outlook for 2020 are currently operating in line with the output targets for the year, Newmont said.

The miner now expects to produce about 1.4 million attributable gold ounces and 325,000 co-product gold-equivalent ounces in the first quarter

The miner had earlier forecast attributable gold production of 6.4 million ounces this year and between 6.2 and 6.7 million ounces longer-term through 2024.

“We currently have no confirmed Covid-19 cases among our workforce and are taking … measures including social distancing at all our sites,” the miner said.

Yet, in order to protect nearby communities and align with travel restrictions or health considerations, the company has taken further measures at its operations in Argentina, Peru, and Canada.

Argentina’s travel restrictions to the end of March mean Newmont has had to limit personnel at its Cerro Negro mine. Last week, the company announced it would scale down operations at its Yanacocha gold mine in Peru due to in-country restrictions.

At its Musselwhite mine in Ontario and Eléonore, in Quebec, Canada, Newmont is limiting staff to prevent possible transmission.

Newmont added it was not facing any delays in shipping or transportation.