TORONTO (Reuters) – With a plump $3.1 billion pile of cash, Newmont Mining Corp is mulling a sweeter dividend to attract a broader shareholder base, a move that makes it an outlier in the still recovering gold sector.
Although miners are no longer crippled by expansion-fueled debt loads, the priority for their cash is building and expanding mines to replace depleting gold reserves, and further reducing debt. Dividend increases are not on their immediate horizon, making Newmont, which has said it was considering doing so, stand out.
Like other producers, Newmont is also investing in expansion projects, but with the fattest purse among gold producers and no debt due until 2019, the Colorado-based miner may have excess cash to return to shareholders.
Newmont, the world’s second-biggest gold producer, has cut net debt by over 70 percent since 2013 to $1.5 billion, and will mull dividend payout options at its October board meeting.
“One of the things we’ll be looking at is what’s an appropriate level of dividend that might attract new investors,” Chief Executive Gary Goldberg told Reuters.
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