Newmont Mining Earnings Call Insights: Metal and Stockpile Pricing

Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Metal Prices

John Bridges – JPMorgan: You put a note on hedging a week or so ago and I’m not sort of desperate yet, so I thought I’d push my luck here. You mentioned that you can’t affect the metal prices, but for short period, maybe you could. You are going through a weak spot in the second half of this year before you get the bigger enough revenues coming in from (Ghana) and then in 2015 from Batu Hijau. Have you thought about protecting your metal prices just without that?

Gary J. Goldberg – President and CEO: Of course we discussed that potential but that is not something we’re looking to do. I think we’ve got strong business fundamentals underlying and sure there are cycles happening in price, but looking to hedge our gold or copper positions is not something we’re considering taking on at this time.

John Bridges – JPMorgan: Bit of an accounting question. The impact of the write-downs on DD&A we should use going forward?

Gary J. Goldberg – President and CEO: I’ll ask Tom to provide that. We do have the guidance and we’ve shown that both with and without impact and with that I’ll refer you to the right page. Page 6 of the earnings announcement last night has an update on DD&A. Excluding write-downs we’re still looking at the $1.05 million to $1.1 million including the stockpile write-down increases at 1.25, so $1.3 billion.

Randy Engel – EVP, Strategic Development: John, it’s Randy and that’s on a consolidated basis. You will see the attributable equivalent of that next to it.

Stockpile Pricing

David Haughton – BMO Capital Markets: With the impairment taken on the stockpile, at what price do these stockpile – what price is imputed in the current carrying value of these stockpiles?

Gary J. Goldberg – President and CEO: The carrying value that we’re suggesting, first of all we use the long-term gold price assumption of $1,400 per ounce of gold and $3 per pound of copper. So, that filters through in term of the valuation that we use for the impairment.

David Haughton – BMO Capital Markets: And what would be required, what eventually would be required for you revisit those carrying values. Would it be lower middle price than where we’re at today for instance or is there some other trigger that would make you revisit these numbers?

Gary J. Goldberg – President and CEO: Where we sit today, it would primarily be a change in metal prices. If we did have substantial change in our operating cost and that could also affect our valuations.

David Haughton – BMO Capital Markets: Changing now to the operations which performed pretty well really for the quarter. Just thinking about the development projects, you have got Phoenix coming up with the Leach, do you intend to report that separately so that we can get an idea as to what the contribution is of the investment there?

Gary J. Goldberg – President and CEO: David at this point we would be including it as a net, as a byproduct in the region. So it is something we have been discussing in terms of making sure we have got visibility in what the actual production of copper is from the Leach as it’s a pure copper stream there.

Thomas P. Mahoney – VP and Treasurer: David we will probably do a trend, we could do something supplemental and try and break that out supplementally.

David Haughton – BMO Capital Markets: So it looks like a reasonable investment there. So it would be good to get the visibility that Gary had referred to. Now switching over to Merian, what’s required for you to go ahead with your next decision and what would that next decision be? I mean you would undertake a feasibility and then think about the construction, what sort of time line could be we thinking about there?

Gary J. Goldberg – President and CEO: With Merian as I mentioned we have received parliamentary approval of our Mineral Agreement. We now are awaiting basically signature for us and the government to sign that agreement. That then triggers some other government approval that we would be waiting for and once we receive those we had be in a position to assess given where we see the current prices in the marketplace, whether this is a project that we are ultimately move forward with now or whether we make a decision to hold. I think a part of it like people have been, we are waiting to see where near-term prices settle out at before we move forward with the project. So we are continuing at a low level of spend in the region until we can get really the government approvals and then be in a position to make the final call on economics. The word on the feasibility study is done and that’s been submitted to the government for their review and all that work is done.