Newmont Mining Corp has reached commercial production at the Tanami Expansion Project, which will increase profitable gold production and support ongoing exploration and development of Tanami’s prospective underground resource. The expansion included building a second decline in the underground mine and incremental capacity in the processing plant. It adds profitable production and extends mine life
The project achieved commercial production safely and on schedule for the approved $120 million development capital investment. The expansion is expected to increase Tanami’s annual gold production by 80,000 oz/y to between 425,000 and 475,000 oz/y of gold, lower all-in sustaining costs to between $700 and $750/oz, and extend mine life by three years. This expansion also creates a platform for further growth and studies to develop a second expansion are underway.
“Tanami’s team has more than doubled gold production while cutting costs by about two-thirds and significantly improving resource confidence since 2012. The expansion project continues this trajectory, offering robust returns of 35 percent at a $1,200 gold price,” said Gary Goldberg, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The team also delivered this project safely and on schedule despite a one-month delay caused by record rainfall in the first quarter.”
The second decline was completed in mid-2016, enabling a step change in mining rates – which ramp up to 2.6 Mt/y – and opening new avenues for exploration drilling. Since that time, Tanami’s team has improved mine ventilation to support further growth, and increased mine development rates through drilling efficiency gains.
The processing plant expansion included adding a ball mill, thickener and gravity circuit to improve recoveries and expanding mill capacity from 2.3 to 2.6 Mt/y. The mill reached commercial production by achieving sustained throughput, mill availability and grind size results in late August.
Newmont has a strong track record for profitable project development. Over the past three years, it has built new mines at Merian and Long Canyon and delivered profitable expansions at Tanami and Cripple Creek & Victor. The company will complete an expansion at Northwest Exodus next year, and in 2017, announced three more expansion projects to improve profitability and extend mine life at Ahafo and Twin Creeks.