US-based gold major Newmont has reported gold mineral reserves of 100.2-million attributable ounces for 2019, which compares with 65.4 -million ounces at the end of 2018.
This 53% increase follows the successful completion of two transactions and ongoing exploration success.
In 2019, the major added almost 50-million ounces of gold reserves through the acquisition of Goldcorp, the formation of the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture and the continuation of its exploration programme.
“Newmont has the largest gold reserve base in the industry underpinned by our world-class ore bodies in top tier jurisdictions,” president and CEO Tom Palmer commented last week.
The reported figures include Red Lake, in Canada, and the company’s 50% interest in Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM), in Australia. Newmont successfully completed the sale of KCGM in January 2020 and expects to close the divestment of Red Lake in the first quarter of 2020. Combined, these sites represented about 4.5-million ounces of gold reserves and 2.6-million ounces of measured and indicated gold mineral resources, bringing Newmont’s adjusted 2019 gold mineral reserves to 95.7-million ounces and measured and indicated gold mineral resources to 74.1-million ounces.
Newmont believes its reserve base is a key differentiator, with 88% of gold reserves located in the Americas and Australia, an operating reserve life of more than ten years and average reserve grade of 1.05 g/t.
In addition, Newmont significantly increased its exposure to other metals, with an estimated 63-million gold equivalent ounces from copper, silver, zinc, lead and molybdenum.
Meanwhile, Newmont said it would spend about $230-million on exploration this year – a decrease of 13% from the prior year as it captured $25-million of exploration synergies from the Goldcorp acquisition and about $10-million from the divestiture of KCGM and Red Lake.
About 80% of total exploration investment would be dedicated to near-mine expansion programme and the remaining 20% would be allocated to the advancement of greenfield projects and innovation programmes.
Geographically, the company would invest about 30% in North America, 25% in South America, 20% in Australia and the remainder in Africa and other locations.