Barrick and Newmont’s joint venture (JV), Nevada Gold Mines (NGM), has obtained Record of Decision (ROD) from the US Bureau of Land Management (US BLM), giving the go-ahead for the plan of operations for its Goldrush mine in Nevada.
This mine is located at the Cortez complex near Beowawe in Nevada, around 100km south-west of Elko, in Eureka and Lander Counties.
Covering 36,096 hectares, the Cortez complex has a total of 5,137 lode, mill site, patented and placer claims.
The underground mine, with a long life, is expected to begin ramp-up production next year after the commissioning of initial project infrastructure.
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The Goldrush mine’s probable mineral reserve estimate is 43 million tonnes at a grade of 7.79 grams per tonne with contained gold (Au) of 11 million ounces.
It is forecast to produce around 130,000oz next year and this number is expected to grow to approximately 400,000oz per annum by 2028.
Around 500 jobs could be created during the construction phase of the Goldrush mine and 570 permanent jobs after the start of its operations.
The mine will also bring “hundreds of millions of dollars” in net proceeds tax as well as gold and silver excise taxes for the state of Nevada, stated Barrick.
So far, Barrick and NGM have spent more than $370m on the project and are looking to invest a total of around $1bn to begin planned production.
After a multi-year consultation and independent impact analysis including specialist environmental studies, the ROD was given for the project.
The Cortez complex is operated by NGM, a JV between Barrick and Newmont, which own 61.5% and 38.5% stakes, respectively.
The JV was formed in March 2019, integrating the two companies’ respective mining operations, assets and reserves.
These included Barrick’s Cortez, Goldstrike, Turquoise Ridge and Goldrush properties and Newmont’s Carlin, Twin Creeks, Phoenix, Long Canyon and Lone Tree properties.
The combination is said to be the world’s single largest gold-producing complex.