UPDATE 1-Newmont CEO says open to adding more copper production
By Allison Martell
DENVER, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp is open to adding more copper production to its core gold business, the company's CEO said on Tuesday, as the biggest U.S. gold miner, along with its peers, seeks to revamp operations in a tough environment.
Newmont already has three copper-gold operations and as a result has "very good core capabilities that we can leverage into copper," chief executive Gary Goldberg told delegates at the Denver Gold Forum, an industry conference.
"We've got good expertise, and I think the best thing to do for shareholders is to leverage that expertise and put copper on the list of things we would look at," Goldberg told Reuters in an interview following the presentation.
Goldberg said the company will not target a specific percentage of revenue to come from copper.
Sliding gold prices and ballooning capital and operating costs have rocked the gold industry, making reliance on the precious metal alone less attractive.
"Two years ago you probably would not have been saying copper," Goldberg said during the presentation. "There was a premium for gold producers."
In late June, gold slid close to $1,180 an ounce, its lowest price in nearly three years. Gold is down more than 20 percent so far this year, while benchmark copper is down about 10 percent this year at $7,159 a tonne. Continued...