Newcrest Mining posts record profit


Papua New Guinea’s largest gold miner, Newcrest Mining, has lodged record profits for the 12 months ending 30 June, thanks to higher gold and copper prices and lower operating costs.

The Lihir Island gold mine. Credit: Newcrest Mining

The company posted a record US$1.164 billion (K4.07 billion) profit in its 2021 financial year – 55 per cent higher than the previous financial year.

Newcrest’s revenue from gold was up nine per cent, in spite of slightly lower gold production, while its copper revenue was up by 46 per cent and its silver revenue up by 63 per cent. By contrast, its operating costs were down by 11 per cent.

‘Newcrest has delivered a strong operational and financial performance for the 2021 financial year, producing 2.1 million ounces of gold at an AISC [All-In Sustaining Cost] of US$911 per ounce. Together with the benefit of higher gold and copper prices, this translated into a record statutory and underlying profit of US$1.2 billion and a record free cash flow of US$1.1 billion,’ said Newcrest’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep  Biswas.

Shareholders in the company will benefit from the bonanza, receiving a dividend per share of US$0.40 (K1.40) – an 129 per cent higher dividend than last year’s.

Lihir production

Newcrest’s gold mine on Lihir Island in New Ireland Province produced 737,000 ounces of gold over this period – about 35 per cent of the PNGX- and ASX-listed company’s global production for the year – and 38,000 ounces of silver. This compared to 776,000 ounces in the previous financial year.

Revenue from the mine was US$1.425 billion (K5.02 billion) – about 31 per cent of the company’s global revenue for the year.

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The company is predicting production at Lihir will be continue in the 700,000–800,000 ounce range for 2022. However, it is looking to progress a potential expansion of the mine, Phase 14A, within the current permitted area.

Impact of COVID-19

Operations in PNG have not been without challenge, however. While the company says cases of COVID-19 on Lihir Island are at ‘low levels,’ it is maintaining ‘extensive contact tracing and isolation procedures’ and charter flights to the island are at restricted capacity.

Its results announcement also noted that ‘the ability to attract labour, travel restrictions, contact tracing and associated isolation requirements has impacted total material mined. Delays have also been experienced on development projects (including Phase 14A ground support trials) and shutdown performance due to difficulty in mobilising and accommodating labour.

‘There remains a risk of COVID-19 impacting production at Lihir and this continues to be closely managed.’

Craig Jones, Newcrest Mining’s Chief Operating Officer (Papua New Guinea), will be speaking at the 2021 Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference, which is taking place from 7 to 9 September. For more information, visit

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