Currently viewing Global edition

Kinross less certain after solid Q1

Kinross Gold has signalled uncertain times ahead after reporting a solid March quarter when net earnings nearly doubled, year-on-year, to US$122.7 million and production came in at 567,000oz gold-equivalent at US$754/oz (cost of sales). The company said its operations weren’t materially impacted by COVID-19, but might be “challenged over time given the future global impacts of a prolonged crisis”.
Kinross less certain after solid Q1 Kinross less certain after solid Q1 Kinross less certain after solid Q1 Kinross less certain after solid Q1 Kinross less certain after solid Q1

Gold pour at Kinross Gold Corp’s Fort Knox mine in Alaska, USA

"With the support of our host governments, all our mines remained operational during the quarter and were not materially impacted by the pandemic," CEO J. Paul Rollinson said.

"While we prudently withdrew our 2020 guidance given the pandemic's significant global impacts, we will continue to work safely on meeting our 2020 operational targets."

Kinross had attributable production last year of 2.508Moz gold-equivalent and was expected to produce more than 2.3Moz this year.

Nearly 20% of its annual production comes from Tasiast in Mauritania where a strike by workers is expected by Kinross management to be resolved quickly. The company said Tasiast achieved record quarterly output for the second consecutive quarter in the March period, ramping up to 16,000 tonnes per day plant throughput under its Phase One expansion.

Kinross' March quarter attributable net earnings compared with $64.7 million for the same period last year.

"The company generated strong free cash flow and increased earnings year-over-year, ending the quarter with excellent liquidity, low net debt, and with investment-grade credit ratings from all three major rating agencies," Rollinson. "During the quarter, our margins increased by 33%, outpacing the 21% increase in average realised gold price."

Adjusted operating cash flow increased 81% to $418.6 million, compared with $230.8 million a year ago.

US-based Jefferies said while the COVID pandemic had minimal impact on Kinross' operations in 1Q, "it is less clear what the impact will be going forward".

"The risk to production is skewed to the downside, in our view.

"Lower volumes would translate to higher unit costs for the company - the mid-point of guidance for the year had been cost of sales of $720/oz and AISC of $970/oz). Currency and fuel price cost tailwinds should help."

Kinross shares (TSX: K) are up more than 55% year-to-date at Wednesday's C$9.61 close, down 2.2% on the day. It has a current market value around C$12.08 billion.