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GoldCorp Inc.’s Penasquito mine in Mexico.

Goldcorp Inc. reported a surprise third-quarter loss due to lower precious metal grades at its Penasquito mine in Mexico.

Goldcorp, one of the best performing gold companies, took a $36-million (U.S.)  writedown on the value of the Mexican mine's stockpiles.

Vancouver-based Goldcorp will now process the low-grade ore when Penasquito nears the end of its life and said the writedown also "recognizes lower anticipated recoveries" from the stockpiles.

That decision drove up costs to produce an ounce of gold to $1,066 compared with $995 last year.

For the three months ended in September, Goldcorp lost $44-million, or 5 cents per share, compared with a profit of $5-million, or 1 cent a share last year.

Excluding the writedown, the company  said it earned  9 cents per share,  which missed analyst expectations of 18 cents.

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