Newmont prepares to sell mines as Newcrest acquisition closes

7th November 2023 By: Bloomberg

Newmont prepares to sell mines as Newcrest acquisition closes

Newmont CEO Tom Palmer

Newmont, the world’s top gold producer, will forge ahead on a plan to find $2-billion in cash including through mine sales and project divestments after closing the largest takeover in the mining industry this year.

Denver-based Newmont closed its roughly $15-billion acquisition of Newcrest Mining on Monday, ending a nearly year-long effort to buy the Australian gold miner.

Now, with all regulatory hurdles out of the way, Newmont CEO Tom Palmer says the combined company can start a process to sell mines and decide which exploration projects to prioritize over the next two years.

“It will come from a combination of divestments of assets and resequencing of projects so that we ensure we’ve got the appropriate and steady allocation of cash for reinvestment,” said Palmer in an interview.

The mining mega-deal comes as gold producers face the prospect of stagnating output, harder-to-mine deposits and rising input costs. Newmont’s bullion output has stalled for the past three years, and the company predicted that without a major acquisition its production would remain the same for another decade. Adding to the firm’s woes this year was a four-month strike at its Penasquito mine in Mexico. The strike forced Newmont to cut guidance and post lower-than-expected earnings in the latest quarter.

Miners typically shed assets following mergers and acquisitions to bring in cash and keep their portfolios manageable. After Newmont’s takeover of Goldcorp in 2019 — a deal that propelled Newmont to the gold sector’s top spot — the company sold one mine as well as two stakes in other projects within the first year.

With the takeover of Newcrest, Newmont will operate 20 mines in 11 countries. The move boosts the company’s gold output to an estimated 8.5-million ounces a year while significantly increasing its exposure to copper.

“We’ll look at the portfolio we have and take our time to integrate it safely, and welcome new colleagues into our business. And then we’ll think carefully about how we might rationalise our portfolio over the next 12 to 24 months to meet that $2-billion commitment,” said Palmer.

Palmer said the company has not yet decided which assets to sell, though the strategy has been subject to industry speculation. Two Australian mines acquired from Newcrest — Telfer and Havieron — are among several operations analysts have predicted Newmont will put up for sale.