Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Feb 18, 2016 • 09:30 am ET
Good morning and welcome to the Newmont Mining Fourth Quarter and 2015 Year End Earnings Conference Call. All lines will be on a listen-only mode until we open for question and answers. [Operator Instructions]
I'd now like to turn the call over to Meredith Bandy, Vice President, Investor Relations. You may begin.
All right, thank you, operator, and good morning everyone. Welcome to Newmont's Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2015 Earnings Conference Call. Joining us on the call today are Gary Goldberg, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Laurie Brlas, Chief Financial Officer. They and other members of our executive team will be available to answer questions at the end of the call.
Turning to Slide 2, please take a moment to review the cautionary statement shown here or refer to our SEC filings, which can be found on our website, newmont.com.
And now, I'll turn it over to Gary on Slide 3.
Gary J. Goldberg
Thanks, Meredith, and thank you for joining us this morning. I'm pleased to report that we ended 2015 with safer and more efficient operations, a stronger portfolio, and a more resilient balance sheet. This performance is the outcome of our work to instill greater discipline in how we manage our business, to make value our watchword, and to drive accountability deeper into the organization. While economic growth and metal prices were generally subdued in 2015, we made measurable progress on our strategy to become the world's leading gold business by improving our underlying business from safety to productivity to cost, strengthening our portfolio and creating value by funding our highest-margin projects, reducing debt and paying steady dividends.
I'll turn to Slide 4 for the highlights. Starting at our operations, last year, we lowered injury rates by 18% to among the lowest in the mining sector. We reduced our gold all-in sustaining costs by 10%, marking six consecutive quarters of keeping them below $1,000 per ounce, and we increased gold production to 5 million ounces and copper production to 166,000 tonnes on an attributable basis.
Moving to our portfolio, we acquired Cripple Creek & Victor, a cash flowing asset in a favorable jurisdiction and progressed the new leach pad and mill. We divested non-core assets, including Waihi and our stake in Valcambi, bringing total asset proceeds to $1.7 billion since 2013. And we completed the Turf Vent Shaft on time and under budget, giving us access to higher grades and a platform to expand the Leeville mine. We advanced Merian, where we lowered capital from our most recent guidance by another $50 million and remain on track to begin commercial production later this year. We reached the decision to fund the first phase of Long Canyon in Nevada, and an expansion at Tanami in Australia, and we've added 5 million ounces of gold reserves by the drill bit.
Turning to our balance sheet, we increased our adjusted EBITDA by 29% to $2.7 billion despite a 9% decrease in realized gold price. We more than doubled free cash flows to