Newmont Board Approves Conga Project in Peru and Tanami Shaft Project in Australia
DENVER, July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM) ("Newmont" or the "Company") today announced that its Board of Directors approved full funding for the Conga project in Peru and the Tanami Shaft project in Australia. Combined, the two projects are expected to add approximately 400,000 attributable ounces of gold and up to 100 million pounds of copper production per year once commercial operations commence in late 2014 to early 2015.
Conga Project Highlights (51.35% attributable to Newmont):
- 6.1 million and 1.6 million ounces of gold in Reserves and Non-Reserve Mineralization("NRM") attributable to Newmont, respectively,(1);
- 1.7 billion and 0.5 billion pounds of copper in Reserves and NRM attributable to Newmont, respectively;
- Potential to add as much as 50% of current gold and copper reserves over next 10 years;
- First production expected in late 2014 to early 2015, with approximately 6 months expected for ramp-up to commercial production;
- Annual attributable production for the first five years of 300,000 to 350,000 ounces of gold and 80 to 120 million pounds of copper;
- Estimated attributable capital costs of $2.0 to $2.4 billion(2) ;
- Estimated strip ratio of 1.0 to 1.5:1;
- Life of mine approximately 19 years;
- Estimated average costs applicable to sales for the first five years of $400 to $450 per ounce of gold and $1.25 - $1.75 per pound of copper; and
- Copper revenues ata $3.00 copper price sufficient to offset gold operating costs, resulting in by-product costs applicable to sales of approximately $0 per ounce.
Tanami Shaft Project Highlights (100% attributable to Newmont):
- Shaft will support underground expansion at the Callie and Auron ore bodies, reduce cut-off grade, enhance productivity and facilitate possible additional mine expansion;
- Potential incremental additions of up to 2 million ounces of gold(3) ;
- Estimated additional average annual production for the first five years of 60,000 to 90,000 ounces of gold; bringing total annual production at Tanami to approximately 340,000 to 400,000 ounces;
- First production expected in late 2014 to early 2015, with approximately 3 months expected for ramp-up to commercial production;
- Project extends life of mine by 5 years to 2027;(4)
- Estimated capital costs of $400 to $450 million based on current Australian dollar exchange rate; and
- Lower costs applicable to sales for the first five years by approximately $100 per ounce.
"We are pleased to announce full funds approval of the Conga and Tanami Shaft projects, representing a commitment to invest between $2.4 and $2.9 billion of capital. This substantial investment in our recently announced growth plan represents over 400 thousand ounces of incremental annual gold production and an additional 100 million pounds of annual copper production capacity between these two projects," commented Richard O'Brien, President and Chief Executive Officer. "In addition to offering an operating cost profile of $400 to $450 per ounce, well below the industry average, Conga will provide a stable long term operating platform in Peru for several decades to come. Similarly, the Tanami Shaft project will increase gold production at our Tanami mine in Australia up to approximately 400 thousand ounces per annum and extend our operating platform in the region."
With today's Board decision, the path forward for Conga and Tanami will include procurement of critical long lead items, the awarding of critical contracts, completion of detailed engineering, and site mobilization.
This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended which are intended to be covered by the safe harbor created by such sections and other applicable laws. Such forward-looking statements may include, without limitation: (i) estimates of future mineral production and sales; (ii) estimates of future costs applicable to sales; (iii) estimates of future capital expenditures; and (iv) expectations regarding the development, growth and exploration potential of the Company's projects, including, without limitation, Conga and Tamani Shaft. Estimates or expectations of future events or results are based upon certain assumptions, which may prove to be incorrect. Such assumptions, include, but are not limited to: (i) there being no significant change to current geotechnical, metallurgical, hydrological and other physical conditions; (ii) permitting, development, operations and expansion of the Company's projects being consistent with current expectations and mine plans; (iii) political developments in any jurisdiction in which the Company operates being consistent with its current expectations; (iv) certain exchange rate assumptions for the Australian dollar to the U.S. dollar, as well as other the exchange rates being approximately consistent with current levels; (v) certain price assumptions for gold, copper and oil; (vi) prices for key supplies being approximately consistent with current levels; and (vii) the accuracy of our current mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates. Where the Company expresses or implies an expectation or belief as to future events or results, such expectation or belief is expressed in good faith and believed to have a reasonable basis. However, such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed, projected or implied by the "forward-looking statements". Such risks include, but are not limited to, gold and other metals price volatility, currency fluctuations, increased production costs and variances in ore grade or recovery rates from those assumed in mining plans, political and operational risks in the countries in which we operate, and governmental regulation and judicial outcomes. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors, see the Company's 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed on February 24, 2011, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the Company's other SEC filings. The Company does not undertake any obligation to release publicly revisions to any "forward-looking statement," including, without limitation, outlook, to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this news release, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required under applicable securities laws. Investors should not assume that any lack of update to a previously issued "forward-looking statement" constitutes a reaffirmation of that statement. Continued reliance on "forward-looking statements" is at investors' own risk.
(1) Based on Newmont's year-end Reserves and NRM Report as of 12/31/2010.
(2) Risk Factors that could impact capital expenditure estimates include labor costs, input costs, project delays, among others.
(3) None of which is in current Reserves or NRM. For additional information on Newmont's Reserves and NRM, see Newmont's Reserve and NRM Report available at www.newmont.com/our-investors/reserves-and-resources.
(4) Current mine life is based on current reserves and NRM.
SOURCE Newmont Mining Corporation