January 29, 2018 / 10:33 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Newcrest Q2 gold output down marginally, maintains 2018 guidance

(Adds comment about Cadia mine, performance at Lihir)

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Newcrest Mining Ltd’s second-quarter gold production fell 0.3 percent from a year ago but rose 17.2 percent over the prior quarter, driven by increased production at Cadia, Lihir, Bonikro and Telfer.

Newcrest said total gold output from its mines in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Ivory Coast fell to 612,695 ounces in the quarter ended Dec. 30 from 614,715 ounces a year ago, but increased substantially compared with the September quarter’s production of 522,917 ounces.

Australia’s largest independent gold producer maintained its fiscal 2018 production guidance of between 2.4 million and 2.7 million ounces.

Overall gold production was below a UBS forecast of 618,000 ounces.

The Cadia mine produced 180,223 ounces in the December quarter, compared with 179,173 ounces a year ago. Operations at the mine in eastern Australia partially resumed in mid-July after a minor earthquake forced Newcrest to suspend operations in April.

Production at the Papua New Guinea mine, Lihir, was expected to be higher but was affected by a motor failure in one of its SAG, or semi-autogenous grinding, mills, the company said.

Newcrest expects gold production in the second half of 2018 to be higher than the first half, as Cadia East ore production ramps up and there are fewer planned shutdown events at Lihir.

The rise in output and a cheaper power agreement, which the miner entered into in December, drove Newcrest’s cost of production on an all-in sustaining basis to $829 per ounce from $478 a year ago.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney

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