Commercial Production Expected In Fourth Quarter
DENVER, CO - Newmont Mining Corporation reported that first production at the Twin Underground mine in Nevada is expected in the fourth quarter of 2017 with commercial production mid-2018. Twin Underground mine in Nevada is a portal mine beneath Twin Creek’s Vista surface mine with similar mineralization. The expansion is expected to average between 30,000 and 40,000 ounces per year for the first five years (2018 to 2022). During this period CAS is expected to be between $525 and $625 per ounce and AISC between $650 and $750 per ounce. Capital costs are expected to be between $45 and $55 million with expenditure of $15 to $25 million in 2017, up from prior estimates due to higher production and additional infrastructure to support a phased approach with exploration upside. IRR is expected to be about 20 percent at a $1,200 gold price.
Newmont Mining Corporation Gary J. Goldberg, President and Chief Executive Officer said, “Operational execution has driven superior second quarter results, further investment in profitable growth, and improved guidance for 2017.” “We increased adjusted EBITDA by $98 million compared to the prior year quarter to nearly $700 million, and reported free cash flow of $346 million. Operations across the portfolio outperformed, reducing all-in sustaining costs to $884 per ounce and producing 13 percent more gold on an attributable basis. We expect to sustain this performance through strong technical fundamentals and ongoing investment in value-adding technology, and have improved our cost, capital and production outlook as a result. This performance gives us the means to fund near-term growth through our new Twin Underground mine in Nevada, and profitable expansions at Ahafo, Tanami and Northwest Exodus, and to invest in maintaining our profitability for years to come with new greenfields prospects as well as our interest in the high grade Buriticá project in Colombia, and the promising Plateau opportunity in the Yukon.
Quecher Main in South America would add oxide production at Yanacocha, and serve as a bridge to development of Yanacocha’s considerable sulfide deposits. An investment decision is expected in the second half of 2017 with first production in 2019. Quecher extends the life of the Yanacocha operation to 2025 with average annual gold production of approximately 200,000 ounces per year between 2020 and 2025 (100 percent basis). Capital costs for the project are estimated at between $275 and $325 million with expenditure of $10 to $15 million in 2017.
Newmont’s outlook reflects steady gold production and ongoing investment in its current assets and best growth prospects. Newmont does not include potential cost and efficiency improvements in its outlook beyond 2017, nor does it include development projects that have not yet been funded or reached the execution stage – both of which represent upside to guidance. Economic assumptions include $1,200 per ounce gold, $2.50 per pound copper, $55 per barrel WTI and $0.75 Australian dollar exchange rate.
Production guidance for 2017 improves to between 5.0 and 5.4 million ounces on Full Potential improvements in North America and Africa. Compared to the prior year, full year production at Merian and Long Canyon more than offsets declines at Twin Creeks and Yanacocha. Production guidance for 2018 and longer-term guidance is unchanged at between 4.7 and 5.2 million ounces with production from the Ahafo expansions and new production at Twin Underground offsetting declines at maturing assets. Expansion at Yanacocha represents upside to both production and cost guidance.
North America production guidance is improved. Production guidance for 2017 improves to between 2.1 and 2.2 million ounces following changes to blend management at Twin Creeks and improved mill grade and leach volumes at Cripple Creek & Victor. Compared to the prior year, a full year of operation at Long Canyon offsets the impact of higher planned stripping at Twin Creeks. Guidance is unchanged at between 1.9 and 2.1 million ounces in 2018 and between 1.8 and 2.0 million ounces in 2019 due to planned stripping at Carlin and continued stripping at Twin Creeks. Both sites are expected to return to higher production levels in 2020.
For an unprecedented third year in a row, Newmont Mining Corporation was ranked by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) as the mining industry’s overall leader in sustainability. Newmont’s inclusion on the index also marked the 11th consecutive year the company has been selected for the DJSI World. This year, 942 companies participated in RobecoSAM’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), which evaluates and ranks the highest-scoring companies on the DJSI – one of the most rigorous and highly regarded sustainability indices in the world. Newmont was the first gold company named to the index in 2007, and has been included on the DJSI North America Index every year since 2006.