Newcrest sees drop in costs, higher copper output

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia’s Newcrest Mining said on Monday it expected its production costs to halve over the next decade and forecast a jump in its copper output.

The miner updated the market on four growth projects, including its Canadian Red Chris operation that it bought in 2019, its Havieron gold project in Western Australia, and expansions at Lihir in Papua New Guinea and Cadia in Australia.

Newcrest expects to produce around 2 million ounces of gold a year until at least 2030, while all-in sustaining costs are expected to drop by more than 50% to less than $500/oz, partly helped by the production of copper as a byproduct, it said in an exchange filing.

Australia’s biggest gold miner produced 2.1 million ounces of gold in the 2020/21 financial year.

It said it expects copper production from its Australian and Canadian mines to jump 37% to around 175,000 tonnes by the end of the decade from current levels, raising its exposure to rising copper demand from the push for green energy.

“While Newcrest is primarily a gold company, we will continue to have a substantial and increasing exposure to copper, a commodity we believe has a compelling growth outlook,” chief executive Sandeep Biswas said.

Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin