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OceanaGold reports FY loss of US$47.9M on further writedowns

OceanaGold reports FY loss of US$47.9 mln on further NZ assets writedown

By Suze Metherell

Feb. 21 (BusinessDesk) – OceanaGold Corp, the Melbourne-based mining group, reported a net loss of US$47.9 million for calendar 2013, as the company wrote down its New Zealand assets in the face of a declining gold price, offsetting a 44 percent gain in revenue.

Revenue was US$553.7 million for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, up from US$385.4 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement. A US$193.3 million impairment charge walloped the company’s bottom line, as the company revalued its New Zealand assets.

Impairments of US$85.5 million were recognised in the second quarter, with a further US$107.8 million added in the last quarter of the financial year.

Excluding the one-time charge, the miner recorded full-year earnings after tax of US$92.8 million, up from US$20.3 million.

The impairment charges related to writedowns of its Macraes goldfield in Otago, which closes in 2017, and its Reefton mine, to be mothballed mid-next year. In the face of declining gold prices the miner is winding down its New Zealand interests to focus on its Philippines gold and copper operations. The spot gold price has declined 16 percent in the past 12 months, and fallen 26 percent over the past two years.

OceanaGold’s earnings before interest and tax rose 150 percent to US$135.2 million as both gold and copper production exceeded the company’s expectations. After depreciation and amortisation expenses of US$129.3 million, and prior to impairments, ebitda was $262.4 million, up from US$144.6 million. It reported record gold production in the fourth quarter, up 54 percent to 115,219 ounces, and 325,732 ounces for the full year, just ahead of its guidance range of 285,000 to 325,000 ounces.

Its Philippines copper and gold mine Didipio began commercial production in April. It produced 66,277 ounces of gold, in line with guidance. Copper production exceeded expectation at 23,059 tonnes, above the predicted range of 18,000 to 20,000 tonnes.

It forecast gold production to be in the range of 275,000 – 305,000 ounces for the year ahead, a drop-off due to the decline in its Macraes operations. Copper production is forecast between 21,000 to 24,000 tonnes.

OceanaGold spent C$10.2 million on buying the 80 percent of Pacific Rim Mining Corp it didn’t already own, gaining access to the El Dorado gold and silver deposit in El Salvador.

The company’s shares were up 2.9 percent to $2.83, and down 2.5 percent in the past 12 months.


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