Newmont Mining has started commercial production at its Twin Creeks underground expansion project in Nevada, US.
The development will add higher-grade gold at lower production costs to the company’s Twin Creeks operation.
The company expects the Twin Creeks underground mine to add a gold output in the range of 30,000-40,000oz per year at $650- $750 per ounce during the first five years of production.
Newmont Mining president and CEO Gary Goldberg said: “The expansion extends profitable production and improves recoveries at Twin Creeks, and serves as a platform to further explore the deposit, which remains open along strike and at depth.
“This project marks the sixth that Newmont has completed on or ahead of schedule and at or below budget over the last five years, and generates an internal rate of return of about 20%.”
With the achievement of commercial production, Newmont can now process stockpiled ore that had previously been classified as waste.
Additionally, the new ore will enable the company to extend the operation’s processing life to 2030.
Newmont developed the Twin Underground mine as a mechanised operation and installed remotely-operated loaders to improve safety and efficiency.
Ore from the underground operation is also expected to be blended with ore from Turquoise Ridge.
Earlier this year, Newmont and Barrick Gold signed off on a mine optimisation project at Turquoise Ridge, which involves sinking a production shaft to access the richest part of the deposit.