* CEO says no plans to shift strategic focus from gold
* Goldcorp continues to build new mines, grow output
* Spending $5.5 billion over five years
* Shares down 0.09 percent at C$33.65 on TSX
By Julie Gordon
March 8 Goldcorp Inc, Canada's
second-largest gold mining company, has no plans to diversify
away from gold into other metals and remains focused on
increasing its gold output, Chief Executive Chuck Jeannes said
Jeannes, speaking at an investor day in Boston, also said
Goldcorp has reviewed its plans in light of costs weighing on
the mining industry and remains focused on managing those costs
while increasing output.
"We have reviewed our strategy," he said. "And we're
confident in fact that the strategy is sound, that we are on the
right track and that we don't need to change our strategic
The promise of business as usual, with a $5.5 billion
five-year spending plan, caused little reaction in the market.
The shares were barely changed at C$33.65 on Friday morning on
the Toronto Stock Exchange.
"We want to stay - primarily, certainly - a gold company,"
Jeannes said, in response to a question about diversifying into
"Certainly if we're looking out there and we find something
that is a significant divergence from our current strategy,
which is to grow our gold production, we'd have to have a lot of
discussion about that," he said, adding he still believes there
is a premium paid in the market for gold production.
Top North American mining companies that have diversified
their output base have not fared well recently.
Barrick Gold Corp, the world's largest gold miner,
said last month it had booked a $3.8 billion charge to write
down the value of its Lumwana copper project in Zambia, acquired
as part of an unpopular C$7.3 billion ($7.3 billion) 2011
takeover of Equinox Minerals Ltd.
Shareholders criticized the company for increasing its
exposure to copper without adding significant gold ounces.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc has been battered
in the market since the company agreed late last year to buy two
oil and gas firms for $9 billion, in a bid to diversify into the
U.S. energy sector.
Goldcorp produces copper as a byproduct at its Alumbrera
joint venture in Argentina and at the Pueblo Viejo joint venture
in the Dominican Republic. The company also has significant
copper reserves at its El Morro project in Chile, which has been
delayed over permitting issues.
Goldcorp, which touts itself as a growth leader, is
currently building three new mines and plans to boost annual
gold output by some 75 percent to up to 4.2 million ounces by
This comes as many of Goldcorp's peers shy away from
building new mines as soaring development costs and a slipping
bullion price make once-promising projects far less attractive.
Goldcorp expects the Cerro Negro mine in Argentina to start
production in late 2013, Eleonore in Canada is slated for late
2014 and Couchenour, also in Canada, in 2015.
The company's $5.5 billion growth plan also includes Pueblo
Viejo, which recently reached commercial production, and Camino
Rojo in Mexico. It has so far spent or committed $3.5 billion of