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Major expansion project has given mine longer life expectancy and higher profitability

Published by
Global Mining Review,

The Tanami expansion project has reached commercial production says Newmont Mining Corporation.

This will increase the profitable gold production and support ongoing exploration and development of the project’s prospective resource. The expansion included building a second decline in the underground mine and incremental capacity in the processing plant.

This commercial level was reached safely and on schedule within the budget of US$120 million of development capital investment. The expansion is set to increase Tanami’s annual gold production by 80 000 oz. per year to between 425 000 and 475 000 oz. a year. This in turn will lower all in sustaining cost to between US$700 and US$750 per oz., and extend the 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 2016, enabling a step change in mining rates, which ramp up to 2.6 million t per year, and opening new avenues for exploration drilling. Since then, the Tanami project’s team has improved mine ventilation to support further growth, while also increasing mine development rates through high efficiency drilling.

The processing plant expansion included constructing a ball mill, thickener and gravity circuit to improve recoveries and expanding mill capacity from 2.3 to 2.6 million t a year. Through a combination of sustained throughput, mill availability and grind size, the mill reached commercial production.

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