Northern mines going up for sale

Musselwhite and Porcupine mines in Northern Ontario are among six non-core assets that will be up for sale by Newmont Corp. The Éléonore mine in Quebec, the Coffee project in the Yukon Territory and Newmont's 70-per cent stake in the Havieron joint venture with Greatland Gold in Western Australia are also on the chopping block. An additional $500 million in cost and productivity improvements, including job cuts, are also underway. In its advisory, the company said that proceeds from the sales transactions will be used to cut debt, which amounted to $8 billion at the end of 2023. A debt-reduction target of $1 billion has been set. Newmont Corp, which is based in Denver, Colo., acquired the Musselwhite and Porcupine sites during its $10-billion merger with Goldcorp in 2019. It is among the world's largest gold miners, which also acquired Newcrest Mining in November. Tom Palmer, Newmont's chief executive officer, said a big part of Newmont's commitment is to deliver $100 million of free cash flow by bringing Newmont and Newcrest together, and to achieve those synergies, there is a reduction in headcount. "Our go-forward portfolio is the new standard for gold and copper mining and provides our shareholders with exposure to the highest concentration of tier 1 assets in the sector," Palmer said in a statement. Tier 1 assets are large "company-making" mines and projects that have low costs and a long productive life. In its 2023 full-year results, Newmont showed it produced 5.5 million ounces of gold last year, a 6.9-per cent drop from the 5.96 million gold ounces it produced in 2022. The gold giant cited $1.9 billion in impairment charges, $1.5 billion in reclamation charges, and $464 million in Newcrest transaction and integration costs as challenges that affected its overall performance along with a share loss of $3.21 per share. Newmont handed $1.4 billion in dividends to shareholders despite these challenges and is forecasting 2024 total production of nearly 6.9 million gold ounces. The company also has other metals, including more than 30 billion pounds of copper reserves and nearly 600 million ounces of silver reserves.

Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal