The $20 billion miner also expects full-year gold production to be towards the upper end of its previously stated guidance range of 1.95 million and 2.15 million ounces.
RBC analyst Paul Kaner said the Newcrest result beat the bank’s earnings and underlying profit estimates, as higher revenues combined with slightly lower operating costs more than offset the higher tax paid.
The interim dividend was also double RBC’s estimate, and reflected Newcrest’s adjusted payout policy, which now targets 30 per cent to 60 per cent of annual free cash flow. It was previously 10 to 30 per cent.
Spot gold was last $US1835 an ounce – up from about $US1,560 a year ago – though the safe-haven asset has cooled from the record highs of $US2,050 an ounce hit in July last year. The metal typically – though not always – increases in value during times of equity market volatility.
Also among the winners on Thursday were Northern Star, up 2 per cent to $12.33, and Evolution, up 1.1 per cent to $4.75.
Among the smaller players, OceanaGold, WestGold Resources, Resolute Mining, and Ramelius Resources pushed ahead.
Newcrest also announced this morning that it has commenced construction of the box cut for the exploration decline at its Red Chris mine in British Columbia, Canada, following receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals.
The Newcrest board approved $C135 million ($137.6 million) of funding for the construction of the exploration decline and associated infrastructure and permitting costs, which is expected to commence following the completion of the box-cut.