Newmont Mining Corp. poured first gold from Long Canyon ore on November 8, and expects to declare commercial production shortly after. The operation is located 100 miles from Newmont’s existing Nevada complex and was completed two months ahead of schedule under $225 million — about $50 million or 18% below budget.

Long Canyon is 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. During the first phase, the company will produce between 100,000 and 150,000 ounces of gold annually over an eight-year mine life at some of the lowest costs in its portfolio. 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 oz.

“Our team built the first phase of Long Canyon safely, ahead of schedule and below budget. Taking a phased approach lowered initial development capital, helping to generate a 26% rate of return and reducing the payback period to just over four years,” said Gary Goldberg, president and chief executive officer. “The project was further optimized by using refurbished equipment instead of new, building a leach facility instead of a mill, and leveraging our established infrastructure, expertise and stakeholder relationships in Nevada.”

Newmont has grown the resource base at Long Canyon by 30% in two years; from an initial resource of 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 Long Canyon this year.

Long Canyon is one of four profitable operations Newmont has added to its portfolio in the last three years, including Merian in Suriname in October, Cripple Creek & Victor in Colorado in August 2015, and Akyem in Ghana in November 2013.