DENVER – Newmont Mining Corp. reported adjusted net income of $507 million or $0.98 per share for 2015.
The company completed the Turf Vent Shaft, progressed Merian, Long Canyon and the Tanami Expansion Project on time and on budget, and acquired Cripple Creek & Victor.
The company lowered its gold all-in sustaining costs by 10 percent to $898 per ounce. It delivered 5.04 million ounces of attributable gold production.
“Newmont completed the year with safer and more efficient operations, a stronger balance sheet and an improved portfolio,” President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Goldberg said. “We increased EBITDA by almost one-third to $2.7 billion, more than doubled free cash flow to $756 million, and lowered net debt by 19 percent, despite a 9 percent drop in realized gold price.
“Our performance improved as a result of our disciplined and systematic focus on cost and efficiency. This delivered a 10 percent reduction in AISC and supported our ability to fund five profitable development projects and acquire Cripple Creek & Victor. Our plans for 2016 and beyond remain focused on improving our underlying business, strengthening our portfolio and creating value for shareholders.”
Fourth quarter 2015 highlights include gold AISC below $1,000 per ounce for the sixth consecutive quarter, adjusted EBITDA of nearly $500 million and gold production in line with the prior year quarter. Fourth quarter results were impacted by lower metal prices, delayed export shipments from Indonesia due to late receipt of an export permit, and other non-recurring costs.
EBITDA is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
Cripple Creek & Victor expansion includes a new leach pad, recovery plant and mill. Leach pad construction is slightly ahead of schedule with first production expected in Q2 2016. The recovery plant remains on schedule to be completed later this year. Finally, mill availability has improved following a scheduled shutdown in December, and Newmont expects to deliver further improvements in the first half of 2016.
Gold production for 2016 is expected to be between 350,000 and 400,000 ounces at AISC of between $650 and $700, with production weighted toward the latter part of the year. The expansion remains on budget with development costs of approximately $200 million, of which 50 percent remain to be spent in 2016.
Long Canyon Phase 1 is just over 45 percent complete and remains on budget and schedule to reach commercial production in the first half of 2017. This first phase of development includes an open pit mine and heap leach operation with production of between 100,000 and 150,000 ounces per year at AISC of between $500 and $600 per ounce over an eight year mine life. About half of the total capital costs of between $250 and $300 million will be spent in 2016 with minimal spending in 2017.
Outside the U.S.
Merian is 66 percent complete. The project remains below budget and on track to reach commercial production in the second half of 2016. Merian will produce between 400,000 and 500,000 ounces of gold annually during its first five years at AISC of between $650 and $750 per ounce. Newmont’s 75 percent share of development capital is estimated at between $575 and $625 million, after a $50 million further reduction in consolidated capital. An expenditure of between $170 million and $210 million remains in 2016.
Tanami Expansion Project includes constructing a second decline in the mine and building incremental capacity in the plant to increase profitable production and serve as a platform for future expansion. The project is on budget and on schedule to deliver additional production beginning in 2017. The expansion will improve annual gold production to between 425,000 and 475,000 ounces per year at AISC of between $700 and $750 per ounce for the first five years, and will increase mine life by three years. Capital costs for the project are estimated at between $100 and $120 million with about half of that amount spent in 2016.
Ahafo Mill Expansion and Subika Underground represent opportunities not currently included in Newmont’s outlook. The two projects would increase profitable production at Ahafo while lowering costs and offsetting the impacts of lower grades and harder ore. Both projects will be reviewed in the second half of 2016.