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OceanaGold turns to first-quarter profit as cash costs fall, production rises

Tuesday 30th April 2013

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OceanaGold, the operator of the Macraes gold field in central Otago, posted a first-quarter profit after producing more gold and benefitting from cash costs less than half the level of a year earlier.

Profit was $US$7.1 million in the three months ended March 31, from a loss of US$3.9 million a year earlier, the Melbourne-based company said in a statement. Sales rose to US$95.6 million from $88.6 million.

The year-earlier loss reflected lower-than-expected production after maintenance shutdowns at Reefton and Macraes and adverse foreign exchange movements. In the latest quarter the company produced 48,139 ounces of gold from Macraes, 12,447 ounces from Reefton and 6,877 ounces from Didipio in the Philippines. The company also produced 3,663 tonnes of copper in the first quarter.

Total material mined in the first quarter of 2013 was 18.4 million tonnes. Exploration expenditure was US$1.8 million, of which US$1.4 million was spent in New Zealand.

The company sold a total 55,585 ounces from New Zealand in the first quarter, up from 51,852 ounces a year earlier. The average price fell to US$1,632 an ounce from US$1,708.

The cash operating margin jumped to US$945 an ounce from US$582 an ounce, though was down from US$1,068 an ounce in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Shares of Macraes last traded at $2.55 on the NZX and have tumbled36 percent in the past six months.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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