Newmont Mining has achieved commercial production at the Subika Underground project, adding higher-grade, lower-cost gold production at the Ahafo mine in Ghana, the company said. Subika Underground represents Newmont’s third profitable expansion in 2018 and its 10th completed project since 2013. The project was delivered on schedule and within budget for approximately $186 million in development capital, according to the company.

“In addition to increasing gold production and lowering costs at Ahafo, Subika Underground leverages the operation’s existing infrastructure and experienced workforce to further extend mine life,” said Gary Goldberg, CEO, Newmont Mining. “The mine provides an underground platform to explore additional upside potential in adjacent ore bodies and also includes some of the latest fit-for-purpose technologies to enhance safety, productivity and efficiency.”

Beginning in 2019, Subika Underground will add average annual gold production of between 150,000 ounces per year (oz/y) and 200,000 oz/y for the first five years and has an initial mine life of around 10 years. Combined with completion of the Ahafo Mill Expansion project expected in the second half of 2019, Ahafo’s average annual all-in sustaining costs (AISC) are projected to improve by between $250/oz and $350/oz compared to 2016. The operation has a projected rate of return of more than 20%.

Newmont’s newest mine, Subika Underground, features semiautonomous loading operations, proximity detection for vehicles, personnel tracking, and planned installation of ventilation-on-demand systems.