Newmont Achieves Commercial Production at Merian Gold

Ore mined from several pits at Merian will support a planned milling rate of 12 million mt/y during the first five years of operation. (Photo: Newmont Mining)
Newmont Mining poured the first gold and declared commercial production at the Merian open-pit gold project in northeast Suriname on October 1. Declaration of commercial production was based on Merian mill throughput averaging 80% and gold recovery averaging more than 90% over the previous 30 days.

The project came in on time and more than $150 million, or nearly 20%, under its initial development capital budget. The government of Suriname holds a fully funded 25% equity ownership stake in Merian and manages its participation through Staatsolie, a wholly owned government corporation. The mine will operate under the banner of Newmont Suriname and will be managed as part of Newmont’s South America region.

Merian has gold reserves of 5.1 million ounces (oz). Production is expected to average between 400,000 oz per year (oz/y) and 500,000 oz/y of gold (100% basis) at competitive costs during the first five full years of production. Costs are expected to be among the lowest in Newmont’s portfolio, averaging between $575/oz and $675/oz in costs applicable to sales and between $650/oz and $750/oz in all-in sustaining costs over the first five years.

Ore will be mined from several open pits. The milling rate is planned at 12 million mt/y during the first five years of operation. Mine life currently stands at 13 years, and exploration continues to identify upside potential within Newmont’s 500,000-ha area of interest.

Merian’s current workforce includes a little more than 1,100 employees, 20% of whom are indigenous Pamakkans, and 200 contractors. The development team has taken a proactive approach to minimizing its environmental impact and engaged experts to inform its biodiversity offset programs. Newmont also signed an agreement with the Pamakkan community that establishes local hiring and procurement targets, as well as a community development fund.

“We took an optimized approach to project development and benefited from being one of the only gold producers investing in growth during the lower price cycle,” said Newmont President and CEO Gary Goldberg.

As featured in Womp 2016 Vol 11 -