Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM), the world’s No.2 gold and copper producer, has begun commercial production at its Tanami expansion project, in northern Australia.
After investing $120 million extending the mine, which Newmont has fully owned and operated Tanami since 2002, the company expects an increase of annual production at the operation to between 425,000-475,000 ounces of gold.
The project will also extend the mine life by three years and lower the all-in sustaining costs (AISC) to between $700 and $750 per ounce.
Additionally, the expansion is estimated to lend support to the ongoing exploration and development of the mine’s prospective underground resources, Newmont said in the statement.
The Tanami expansion involved development of a second decline in the underground mine and adding capacity in the processing plant.
Newmont chief executive officer Gary Goldberg said the project was delivered on schedule despite a one-month delay caused by rainfall.
He also noted that the team has more than doubled gold production while cutting costs by about two-thirds and significantly improving resource confidence since 2012.
Over the past three years, the Denver-based firm has built new mines at Merian (in Suriname) and Long Canyon (in the US), and delivered profitable expansions at Tanami and Cripple Creek & Victor, also in the US.
As of Sep. 1, Newmont — the only gold company that forms part of the S&P500 index — has a market capitalization of $20.3 billion.