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REFILE-UPDATE 1-Australia's Newcrest posts 98% rise in HY underlying profit

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(Corrects to fix typo in paragraph 1)

Feb 11 (Reuters) - Australia's Newcrest Mining Ltdon Thursday posted an underlying half-year profit that nearlydoubled as it benefitted from higher realised gold prices and arise in production at its flagship mine in New South Wales.

Underlying profit of the country's largest listed gold minerrose to $553 million for the half year ended Dec. 31 from $280million in the same period a year earlier.

Realised gold prices were $1,826 per ounce, compared with$1,446 a year earlier, Newcrest said in a statement.

Newcrest declared an interim dividend of 15 cents per share,while targeting a total annual dividend payout of 30-60% of freecash flow.

The company maintained its previously stated full-year goldand copper forecast, but said it was expecting all-in sustainingcosts (AISC) expenditure for the full year to be near the topend of the $1,800 to $1,950 per ounce estimated range.

The Melbourne-based company also said it was expecting animprovement in higher grade ore from its Lihir project in PapuaNew Guinea, following the completion of an optimisation study atthe mine.

The miner said the project had the potential to provide anadditional 1.4 million ounces of contained gold being deliveredto the mill between 2022 and 2034.(Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by AnilD'Silva)