Super Pit production tipped to hit four-year high
Canada’s Barrick Gold and US giant Newmont Mining, 50:50 owners of Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Super Pit, are forecasting production to hit a four-year high in 2015.
Toronto-based Barrick and Denver-based Newmont yesterday released their September quarterly results which showed their share of production from Australia’s second-biggest gold mine was 97,000oz and 89,000oz, respectively.
The 8000oz difference, worth about $13 million yesterday, is a typical quirk from the world’s two biggest gold miners which do not publicly agree on much despite several merger attempts.
Depending on which forecast investors believe, Barrick is projecting between 315,000 and 330,000oz from the Super Pit this year.
If production beats 327,000oz, it will be the best result for Barrick since 2011.
Newmont, which has declared an interest in Barrick’s Super Pit stake, is projecting in the range of 310,000 to 340,000oz.
The upper end of guidance puts Newmont close to achieving a fouryear production high. It would represent a remarkable recovery by operators Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines, which lost 16 days of production because of a shutdown of its Fimiston plant in February and commissioned a new ultrafine grinding mill in June.
Yesterday’s quarterly announcements, in which Barrick posted a net loss of $264 million and Newmont posted $758 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, also reveal a dramatic fall in costs at the Super Pit in the past 12 months.
Barrick’s all-in sustaining costs were $US725 an ounce in the September quarter, while Newmont’s were $US872/oz. A year ago, the partners were mining at $US1040/ oz and $1062/oz, respectively.
KCGM on Wednesday confirmed feasibility studies were ongoing for additional cutbacks.