Newmont Mining gold output falls, warns of $77 million charges

Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:57am EDT

Workers stand at the top of a mountain of waste rock at Newmont Mining Corp's copper and gold mine on Indonesia's Sumbawa island September 21, 2012. REUTERS/Neil Chatterjee

Workers stand at the top of a mountain of waste rock at Newmont Mining Corp's copper and gold mine on Indonesia's Sumbawa island September 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Neil Chatterjee

(Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp (NEM.N), the world's No.2 gold miner, said third-quarter gold production fell 6 percent and it said it faced a record $77 million in maintenance and restructuring charges.

Newmont cited lower mill availability and recoveries at Boddington in Western Australia, and lower ore tons and grade mined at Tanami in northern Australia as reasons for lower productivity.

Gold production was 1.24 million ounces, down 5.3 percent from 1.31 million ounces in the same quarter last year.

Newmont said it is expecting a $27 million charge for the Hope Bay project in Canada and a charge of about $50 million for restructuring, severance, and related costs during the quarter.

Gold miners are facing difficulties in negotiating with workers over wages and jobs leading to a series of strikes and general labor unrest in the mining industry.

Though the price of gold has more than quintupled in the last decade, from about $300 an ounce in 2002 to over $1,700, labor and material costs have skyrocketed along with metal prices.

Rising costs have weighed on the share prices of gold miners, most of whom have lost value this year even though spot gold is still well above historic levels.

In January, Newmont Mining said was evaluating development options and the feasibility of its Hope Bay project in Northern Canada, and set aside maintenance funding for the site. The project was not included as part of the Company's 2017 strategic growth plan.

Last month, Newmont said it plans to shed workers and cut costs at its giant Indonesian copper and gold mine as it loses a million dollars a day in cash flow because of low output that will continue through next year.

Shares of Denver-based Newmont closed at $55.88 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan in Bangalore)

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