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On 21 July 2014, Slater and Gordon commenced a class action against Newcrest Mining Limited in the Federal Court of Australia.
Newcrest is one of the world’s largest gold mining companies measured by reserves and market capitalisation. It has six mines currently operating in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and West Africa.
On 7 June 2013, Newcrest informed the market that it would:
- downgrade its forecast FY14 gold production;
- write down all of the $3.8bn of goodwill on its balance sheet;
- impair the carrying value of its mining operations by a total of $2.2bn; and
- not declare a final dividend in FY13.
Newcrest’s share price fell by almost 20% following the disclosure of this information.
The proceeding was been brought on behalf of all shareholders that acquired an interest in Newcrest ordinary shares between 13 August 2012 and 6 June 2013 (inclusive) (the claim period).
It was alleged that, during the claim period, Newcrest engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by providing production guidance without reasonable grounds. It was also alleged that Newcrest breached its continuous disclosure obligations by failing to inform the market of price sensitive information.
On 21 February 2016, the parties settled the class action for $36 million prior to the commencement of trial.
On 3 May 2016, the Federal Court of Australia made orders approving the settlement of the class action and appointing Slater and Gordon as Administrators of a Settlement Distribution Scheme.