Newmont Goldcorp kicks off commercial production at Ahafo mill expansion

The mill expansion is expected to increase Ahafo’s average annual gold output to between 550,000 and 650,000 ounces per year through 2024. (Image courtesy of Newmont Goldcorp.)

Newmont Goldcorp (NYSE: NEM) (TSX: NGT) said on Tuesday its $175 million Ahafo mill expansion project in Ghana had begun commercial production, becoming the third project the company has delivered on schedule and within budget this year.

Combined with Subika underground, which was successfully completed in November 2018, the mill expansion is expected to increase Ahafo’s average annual gold output to between 550,000 and 650,000 ounces per year through 2024, while lowering life-of-mine processing costs.

The upgrade is expected to increase average annual gold production at the Ghana mine by between 75,000 and 100,000 ounces for the first five years, starting in 2020

Newmont Goldcorp completed in March the installation of a $245-million power station project at its Tanami gold mine in northern Australia. The additions are expected to provide the operation with a safe and reliable energy source while lowering power costs and carbon emission by 20%, the company said at the time.

Earlier this month, it also began commercial production at its all-electric underground Borden gold mine, located in Ontario, Canada, about 160 km west of the company’s Porcupine mine.

The Ahafo expansion is expected to deliver an internal rate of return of more than 20% and, together with other projects at the asset, it will extend profitable production through to at least 2029.

Commercial production at the Ahafo mine, located about 190 miles northwest of the capital city of Accra, began in 2006.

Last year, the mine sold 436,000 ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of $864 per ounce.

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