April 20, 2016 / 10:19 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Gold miner Newmont's earnings beat market estimates

(Recasts with analyst comment, share price rise, outlook, metal prices received)

April 20 (Reuters) - Gold and copper miner Newmont Mining Corp reported lower quarterly earnings on Wednesday but they blew past analyst estimates due to higher copper sales from its Indonesian operation and a strong performance from its Australasian mines.

Its shares rose 1.7 percent to $30.96 in after-hours trading.

Newmont, the world’s second-biggest gold miner by market value, said its adjusted net income fell to $182 million, or 34 cents a share in the first quarter.

Although down from $229 million or 46 cents a share in the year-ago period, it was well ahead of the 20 cents a share that analysts were expecting, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S estimates.

“A combination of lower capex, better operating performance out of Australasia and more copper sales during the quarter is really how that beat materialized,” BMO Capital Markets analyst Andrew Kaip said.

Greenwood Village, Colorado-based Newmont, left unchanged the forecasts it made in February for gold and copper production in 2016 and 2017.

The company said its net income from continuing operations was $78 million, or 15 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31. That compares with $175 million, or 35 cents a share, in the same period a year ago when gold and copper prices were higher.

In the first quarter, attributable gold production from Newmont mines in the Americas, Australia, Asia and Africa rose to 1.23 million ounces of gold and 38,000 tonnes of copper. That compares with 1.19 million ounces of gold and 37,000 tonnes of copper in the same quarter a year ago.

All-in sustaining costs to produce one ounce of gold improved to $828 an ounce in the first quarter from $849 in the same quarter a year ago.

Prices received for its gold averaged $1,194 an ounce in the first quarter, down from $1,203 per ounce in the first three months of 2015. Average copper prices received fell to $2.02 a pound from $2.34 per pound.

Earlier on Wednesday Newmont said vice-chair Noreen Doyle has been appointed to succeed Vincent Calarco as board chair. Calarco will remain as a director. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler)

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