Newmont Pours First Gold at Long Canyon
Long Canyon was completed two months ahead of schedule for an investment of just under $225 million, about $50 million below budget. The first phase of development is expected to produce between 100,000 ounces per year (oz/y) and 150,000 oz/y of gold over an eightyear mine life at estimated costs applicable to sales of between $400/oz and $500/oz and all-in sustaining costs of between $500/oz and $600/oz.
Long Canyon leverages Newmont’s existing infrastructure, expertise and strong stakeholder relationships in Nevada. The project was optimized by taking a phased development approach, relying on refurbished instead of new equipment, and building a leach facility rather than a mill. At current gold prices the project is expected to generate a 26% rate of return, with a payback period of just under four years. Long Canyon operations are based on the most significant oxide gold discovery in Nevada in more than a decade, with characteristics similar to the Carlin Trend where Newmont has been operating for more than 50 years. Operations include a surface mine and heap-leach pad that currently holds 1 million metric tons (mt) of ore at an average estimated grade of 1.13 grams (g)/mt of gold.
Newmont has grown the resource base at Long Canyon by 30% from an initial 2.6 million oz in 2013 to reserves and resources of 3.4 million oz as of the end of 2015. Up to 11 drill rigs have been operating at the project in 2016, and Newmont geologists have increased the mineralized strike length by 70% to more than 5 kilometers (km). Oxide mineralization remains open in all directions. Long Canyon Phase 2 studies are currently in progress, and the company expects to complete the studies and secure the necessary permits to proceed with Phase 2 before Phase 1 is completed.
Newmont President and CEO Gary Goldberg said, “Long Canyon marks the fourth profitable new operation we’ve added to the Newmont portfolio in the last three years, including Merian in Suriname last month, Cripple Creek & Victor in Colorado last year, and Akyem in Ghana in late 2013.