* EPS 10 cents vs 7 cents * Gold production rises to 551,510 ounces (Adds details. In U.S. dollars unless noted)
TORONTO, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Kinross Gold (K.TO) said on Wednesday its third-quarter profit jumped 64 percent on stronger gold prices and higher production following the opening of the company’s low-cost Kupol mine in Russia.
The Canadian company, which recently took over Aurelian Resources to gain control of its Fruta del Norte gold deposit in Ecuador, earned $64.7 million, or 10 cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept 30.
That was up from $39.4 million, or 7 cents a share, in the year-before period.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected, on average, a profit of 13 cents a share.
The company’s gold equivalent production rose 47 percent to 551,550 ounces, helped by 206,495 ounces from Kupol, which is operating ahead of schedule, Kinross Chief Executive Tye Burt said in a statement. The company owns 75 percent of the mine.
Kupol is one of three new operations opening this year. They are expected to boost the company’s output and lower its overall costs.
The others are the Buckhorn mine in Washington state and the Paracatu expansion in Brazil, both of which began operating in October, the company said.
Costs per ounce rose to $406 in the quarter from a year-before $383, while realized gold prices were $857 an ounce, up from $686.
Kinross said it was on track for overall 2008 production of 1.8 million to 1.9 million ounces, at cash costs in a range of $425 to $445 per ounce, while 2009 output is seen in a range of 2.4 million to 2.5 million ounces.
The company’s shares, which are down 18 percent so far this year, rose 31 Canadian cents to C$14.95 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The results were released after markets closed. ($1=$1.17 Canadian) (Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Peter Galloway)