Newmont Mining has started commercial production at the Tanami gold mine in Australia’s Northern Territory after completing an expansion project at the site.
With a capital investment of $120m, the expansion project was performed to enhance gold production and support ongoing exploration and development of underground resource at the mine.
Annual production from the mine is set to increase by 80,000oz per annum to between 425,000oz and 475,000oz of gold.
Newmont Mining president and CEO Gary Goldberg said: “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 gold price.”
Under the expansion programme, a second decline in the underground mine was constructed and the processing plant's capacity was increased.
As a result of the expansion, the company increased the mine life by three years.
Newmont stated that assessments for another expansion project are currently in progress.
The second decline was completed last year, enabling a step change in mining rates up to 2.6 million tonnes per annum and presented new opportunities for exploration drilling.
Meanwhile, the expansion of the processing plant comprised adding a ball mill, thickener, and gravity circuit to improve recoveries, in addition to expanding mill capacity from 2.3 million to 2.6 million tonnes per annum.
According to the company, commercial production at the mill began last month, with sustained throughput, mill availability and grind size results.