Papua New Guinea
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Strong production levels in the mining and petroleum space

Most operators, especially in the mining space have announced strong performance this year with higher production levels.

With the year fast nearing to a close, most companies are posting their financial results with the common theme of strong production levels.

Newcrest Mining Limited, operator of the Lihir mine, in its 2023 financial report announced an overall increase in production of gold and copper rates with two million ounces of gold and 133,000 tonnes of copper during the year.

This was despite the impact of an extended weather pattern which produced drought conditions at Lihir in particular.

As a result, the company made a statutory and underlying profit of US$778 million, free cashflow of US$404 million and fully franked final dividend of US 20 cents per share.

According to the K92 mining Inc, operator of the K92 mine in Eastern Highlands second quarter financial results for the year, the miner announced significant positives with a production growing 43 per cent from quarter one 2023 and 18 per cent from quarter two 2023.

The results also included a strong cash costs of US$597/oz and AISC (All in sustaining cost) of US$9765/oz, well below the annual guidance range of US620-US$680/oz for cash costs and US$1,180 to US$1,300/oz for AISC.

St Barbra, operator of the Simberi mine in Niu Ireland, also announced production at the top end of guidance at 360,368 ounces and AISC below the bottom end of guidance at US$2,443 per ounces across its business.

Simberi operations itself archived the upper end guidance with production of 78,320 ounces at an AISC of US$2,419 per ounces.

Quarter four delivered the best production in three years as a result of high grades from the Sorowar pit.

Financial performance across the business saw the miner’s record a statutory loss after tax of US$429 million for the year, including non-cash after tax impairments totaling US$376 million for its Atlantic operations and US$74 million for its Simberi operations.

In the petroleum space, Santos, half year results showed production level of 45 million barrels of oil equivalent, down 13 per cent, however the PNG LNG recorded strong oil and gas production from improved reliability and field performance.

The PNG LNG maintained ongoing steady production with planned maintenance activities and rate reduction.

Also, Angore drilling is ongoing with gas expected in 2024.

Financial performance saw strong free cashflow US$1.1 billion and underlying profit of US$801 million.

It is understood the strong results reflects the strength of the disciplined operating model which is designed to ensure the business remains resilient through the oil price cycle.