Newmont Corporation and its joint venture partners have announced the successful integration of the Alumbrera gold mine, plant and infrastructure in Argentina with Yamana Gold’s Agua Rica project to create the integrated MARA project. The integration of these two assets finalises the joint venture between Newmont (18.75%), Glencore International AG (25%) and Yamana Gold (56.25%).
Yamana will be the operator of the Joint Venture and will continue to lead the engagement with local, provincial, and national stakeholders, completion of the Feasibility Study (expected 2022) and Environmental Impact Assessment for the MARA Project, and generally lead the project to development and operation. A technical committee has been formed and is comprised of representatives of the three companies to oversee these efforts.
“I am pleased to see this partnership complete the integration of the projects. Joining the Agua Rica ore body with the high-quality infrastructure from Alumbrera will ensure the sustainability of both sites’ resources,” said Newmont’s President and CEO Tom Palmer. “Newmont looks forward to the MARA project adding value to our world-class portfolio.”
“The integration effectively turns what was a greenfield project into a much lower risk brownfield project,” said Peter Marrone, Executive Chairman of Yamana. “Leveraging existing infrastructure enhances project economics, simplifies permitting, and reduces the project’s environmental footprint, thereby significantly enhancing the value of the project. With the MARA Project, the critical development components of plant and related infrastructure already exist, which improves the development risk profile and quality of the project. We are very pleased to have worked with our partners, Glencore and Newmont, on the integration, and we look forward to working with them on the development of the project.”
Under the MARA Project, Agua Rica will be developed and operated using the existing infrastructure and facilities from the Alumbrera mine, approximately 35 km away. The integration unlocks significant value by leveraging Alumbrera’s infrastructure including the plant, tailings storage facility, pipeline and other infrastructure to be used for processing ore from Agua Rica.
Ore extracted from Agua Rica will be transported from the open pit by truck to the primary crusher area and then transported via a conventional conveyor to the existing Alumbrera processing plant. To route the overland conveyor system, approximately 5.2 km of tunnel development is required. The conveyor extends 35 km to the Alumbrera process plant, where it will feed the existing stacker conveyor via a new transfer station.