Newmont profit falls, promotes COO to President

Over the past three years, the company has built new mines in Suriname (Merian) and the US [Long Canyon, pictured above]. (Image courtesy of Newmont Mining.)

Newmont Mining,  (NYSE:NEM), the world’s second largest gold miner by output, reported Thursday lower third-quarter profit and revenue as a result of weak prices for the precious metal and copper in the period.

The Greenwood Village, Colorado-based company logged an adjusted profit of $175 million, or 33 cents per share, for the three months leading to September, compared with a profit of $184 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

In terms of net income, however, Newmont reported a loss of $161 million, or 31 cents a share, compared to profit of $213 million, or 39 cents a share, in the same quarter of 2017. The company attributed the loss mostly to impairments of exploration and long-lived assets in North America, as well as to lower metal prices.

Newmont reported a loss of $161 million, or 31 cents a share, compared to profit of $213 million, or 39 cents a share, in the same quarter of 2017.

The $366-million impairment charges correspond to $331 million related Newmont’s decision to not advance certain exploration projects, and $35 million from a new mine plan at its Emigrant open pit operation in Nevada, which shortened its mine life.

“We continued to advance profitable projects as we completed the concentrates project at Cripple Creek & Victor Mine (CC&V) and commissioned the primary crusher at Merian, safely, on budget and on schedule,” chief executive officer Gary J. Goldberg said in the statement.

He also noted the company increased investment in Quecher Main, Subika Underground and the Ahafo Mill expansion during the period.

Newmont trimmed the higher end of its gold output target for 2018 to between 4.9 million and 5.2 million ounces, from 4.9-5.4 million previously, as production of the precious metal fell 4% to 1.29 million ounces in the third quarter.

The average realized gold price also dropped by $75 to $1,201 per ounce in the period, while average realized copper price fell to $2.50 a pound from $3.06 in the same period last year.

New President

The company also announced the promotion of Tom Palmer to President and Chief Operating Officer, effective November 1 in recognition of his strong performance since May 2016, when he was appointed as Executive Vice President and COO.

In less than 30 months and under Palmer’s direction, Newmont generated more than $2 billion in free cash flow, commissioned two new mines and completed four expansions ahead of schedule and within or below budget, the company said in a separate statement.

“Project optimization work under Tom’s leadership has also positioned Newmont’s robust project pipeline as among the best in the gold sector through capital discipline and a focus on returns,” it said.

Prior to being appointed president, Palmer led Newmont’s business in the Asia Pacific region, which generated nearly 40% of the company’s revenues at the time. His 25-year career in mining includes leadership roles in Rio Tinto’s bauxite and aluminum, coal, copper, iron ore, and technology businesses.

Palmer will continue reporting directly to Gary Goldberg and leading the company’s global operations, projects, as well as its health, safety and security teams, the miner said.

Newmont shares were slightly down in pre-market (-0.031 percent) at $31.75, in line with most major gold producers.