Newmont says brings Merian into commercial production on time, below budget
Newmont Mining said it has completed construction of the Merian gold mine in Suriname on time and more than $150M or nearly 20% below its initial development capital budget. First gold was poured and Newmont declared commercial production on October 1, having achieved sustained average mill throughput of 80% and gold recovery of more than 90% over the last 30 days. Stockpiled ore represents nearly 160,000 contained ounces of gold. Merian contains gold reserves of 5.1 million ounces and annual production is expected to average between 400,000 and 500,000 ounces of gold at competitive costs in the first five full years of production. Costs are expected to be among the lowest in the portfolio, averaging between $575 and $675 per ounce in costs applicable to sales and between $650 and $750 per ounce in all-in sustaining costs in the first five years. Exploration has extended mine life from 11 to 13 years, and continues to identify further upside potential within Newmont's 500,000 hectare Area of Interest, including a new discovery at Sabajo. The government of Suriname exercised its option to participate in a fully-funded 25% equity ownership stake in Merian in November 2013. Suriname manages its participation through Staatsolie, a Surinamese corporation that is wholly owned by the government. Merian will operate under the banner of Newmont Suriname and be managed as part of Newmont's South America region in accordance with leading safety, technical, social and environmental standards.