Newmont pours first gold at Long Canyon in Nevada

Number two gold miner in terms of output, Newmont Mining, last month said attributable production could be as high as 5 million ounces for in 2016 as expansion projects come on stream and new mines begin operating.

On Friday, Denver-based Newmont announced that it poured first gold from its Long Canyon mine in Nevada located 160 km from the company's existing complex in the US state. The company expects to declare commercial production next week.

According to a statement Long Canyon was completed two months ahead of schedule for just under $225 million – about $50 million or 18% below budget.

The mine will add 100,000 – 150,000 ounces to the company's annual production with an initial mine life of eight years.

Newmont considers Long Canyon the most significant Carlin-type oxide gold discovery in Nevada in more than a decade. The nature of the deposit, using heap leach technology and tapping into existing infrastructure will keep costs at Long Canyon to some of the lowest in the industry.

Newmont says costs applicable to sales are expected to average between $400 and $500 per ounce and all-in sustaining costs are expected to average between $500 and $600 per ounce.

Unlike many of its rivals Newmont has been building its portfolio and is expanding the Cripple Creek & Victor gold mine in Colorado it acquired last year. Its Merian mine in South America with annual production of 300–375,000 an ounce started production in October. Middle next-year it expects to complete an expansion that would add around 80,000 ounces to its Tanami mine in Australia.

In addition unapproved projects mainly in Africa "represent upside of between 200,000 and 300,000 ounces of gold production beginning in 2018," the company said at the time of its latest financial results.

Newmont is the only gold producer listed in the S&P 500 Index and shares in the company are up 84% this year affording it a market value of $16.5 billion in New York. Gold was last trading at $1,236 an ounce, up 16.6% so far this year.