Newmont Mining’s Tanami expansion project, which included a second decline and incremental capacity at the processing plant, has achieved commercial production safely, on schedule and at budget, the company said. The expansion is expected to increase Tanami’s annual gold production by 80,000 ounces per year (oz/y) to between 425,000 oz/y and 475,000 oz/y of gold, lower all-in sustaining costs1 to between $700/oz and $750/oz, and extend the mine life by three years.
“Tanami’s team has more than doubled gold production while cutting costs by about two-thirds and significantly improving resource confidence since 2012. The expansion project continues this trajectory, offering robust returns of 35% at a $1,200/oz gold price,” said Gary Goldberg, president and CEO, Newmont Mining. “The team also delivered this project safely and on schedule despite a one-month delay caused by record rainfall in the first quarter.”
The second decline was completed in mid-2016, enabling a step change in mining rates, which ramp up to 2.6 million metric tons per year (mt/y), and opening new avenues for exploration drilling. Since that time, Tanami’s team has improved mine ventilation to support further growth, and increased mine development rates through drilling efficiency gains.
The processing plant expansion included adding a ball mill, thickener, and gravity circuit to improve recoveries and expand mill capacity from 2.3 million mt/y to 2.6 million mt/y. The mill reached commercial production by achieving sustained throughput, mill availability and grind size results in late August.