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Kinross Gold Reports Loss In 2Q, Considering More Cost Cuts At Tasiast

Editor's Note:Updating earlier story to include potential for more cost-cutting at Tasiast mine in Mauritania

(Kitco News) - Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K; NYSE:KGC) reported a loss in the second quarter and said it is once against considering job cuts at the Tasiast gold mine in Mauritania.

The company late Wednesday listed a second-quarter net loss of $83.2 million, or 7 cents per share, compared with earnings of $46 million, or 4 cents, in the same period a year ago.

After adjustments for special items, the company listed a loss of $13.6 million, or a penny per share, compared with adjusted earnings of $32.9 million, or 3 cents, in the second quarter of 2014.

"Kinross continued to deliver on its targets, with production in the first half of 2015 tracking at the high-end of guidance for the year, and all-in sustaining cost tracking at the low-end of the full-year forecast,” said J. Paul Rollinson, Kinross president and chief executive officer.

“The company achieved these results despite a temporary suspension of operations at Maricunga and fewer ounces sold due to timing of some gold sales, which, together with a decline in the gold price, impacted earnings. Kinross nonetheless continued to generate free cash flow in Q2, in large part as a result of its strong operational performance, benefits from foreign exchange and lower oil prices, and a company-wide effort to drive down procurement costs and reduce working capital," the company said. 

Output at Maricunga was impacted by heavy rains in March.

Production was 660,898 gold-equivalent ounces, compared with 679,831 in the second quarter of 2014. Revenue was $755.2 million, compared with $911.9 million.

The cost of sales was $724 per gold-equivalent ounce, down from $742 in the year-ago quarter. The all-in sustaining cost was $1,011 per gold-equivalent ounce, compared with $976 a year ago. The all-in sustaining cost per ounce of gold sold on a by-product basis was $1,006, compared to $967 in the second quarter of 2014.
The average realized gold price fell to $1,194 per ounce from $1,285 in the year-ago period.

Kinross said it is tracking at the high end of 2015 guidance for production, listed at 2.4 million to 2.6 million gold-equivalent ounces. The company said it is at the low end of guidance for production cost of sales ($720 - $780 per gold-equivalent ounce) and all-in sustaining costs ($1,000 - $1,100), and also below total capital expenditure guidance of $725 million.

The company said it increased cash and cash equivalents to $1.03 billion and decreased net debt to $960.2 million, with $250 million in senior notes due in 2016  with only significant debt maturity until 2019.

Meanwhile, Kinross said it continues to focus on optimizing the Tasiast operation after the first-quarter decision to defer a mill expansion, in order to preserve balance-sheet strength. The company is looking to optimize mill throughput to address the hardness of the higher ore grade.

The company purchased Tasiast from Red Back Mining in 2010 for $7.1 billion. Proven and probable reserves are estimated at more than 9 million ounces of gold.

“In July, Kinross also initiated discussions with the government of Mauritania and employee representatives regarding cost-saving measures; one option under consideration includes a potential workforce reduction,” said the company’s earnings news release. “Tasiast remains an attractive brownfield growth opportunity with a significant mineral resource base. In order to leverage Tasiast’s future potential, the company will continue to look for ways to reduce costs and advance growth opportunities in a financially disciplined way.”

By Allen Sykora of Kitco News; asykora@kitco.com

 

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