Newcrest Mining to 'vigorously defend' class action lawsuit

NEWCREST Mining has vowed to vigorously defend a class action lodged by law firm Slater & Gordon seeking damages in relation to the gold miners’ market disclosure performance in the 2013 financial year.

Newcrest, which owns Cadia Valley Operations gold mine near Orange,  has already settled for $1.2 million with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, but the claim lodged by Slater & Gordon this week goes beyond the matters investigated by ASIC.

The corporate watchdog had focused its investigations on a period between May 28 and June 7, 2013, when shares in the miner fell rapidly in advance of a gold production downgrade. 

The Slater & Gordon’s claim goes back to five-year guidance given by Newcrest in August 2012, when the miner reduced its 2017 gold production target from 4 million ounces to no more than 3.5 million ounces.

The class action alleges that August 2012 production guidance was not reasonable, but Newcrest stressed that ASIC’s successful investigation did not in any way relate to that August 2012 period. 

“Newcrest intends to vigorously defend the proceedings,’’ the company said in a statement.

The class action is seeking to represent investors who owned Newcrest shares between August 2012 and June 6, 2013.

The saga prompted the resignation of former Newcrest chief executive Greg Robinson, and his replacement Sandeep Biswas will address investors and the media for the first time tomorrow at the company’s June quarter results.

Newcrest shares last traded at $11.46.


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