Colorado-based gold major Newmont Corp. said Feb. 13 that its 2019 gold reserves jumped 53% year over year to a record 100.2 million attributable ounces from 65.4 Moz in 2018.
Its reserves grew by about 50 Moz following the acquisition of Goldcorp Inc., the launch of the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture with Barrick Gold Corp. and its exploration programs. Newmont President and CEO Tom Palmer said the company's reserves are the industry's largest and will support production of more than 6 Moz per annum "for decades to come."
The company's total reserves are down to 95.7 Moz after adjusting for the divestments of the Kalgoorlie gold mine in Western Australia and the Red Lake gold mine in Ontario.
Newmont expects its total attributable exploration expenditure in 2020 to drop 13% yearly to about US$230 million after realizing US$25 million in synergies from the Goldcorp takeover and US$10 million from the sale of Kalgoorlie and Red Lake. Eighty percent of this will be allocated to near-mine expansion projects, and the remainder is earmarked for greenfield exploration and innovation programs.
Newmont's gold reserve grade came in at 1.05 g/t, compared to 1.19 g/t in the prior year, largely due to the addition of the NuevaUnion and Norte Abierto mines in Chile and the Penasquito mine in Mexico. This was partially offset by higher-grade reserves from the company's 38.5% equity ownership in the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture.
Newmont's attributable measured and indicated gold resources climbed 95% to 76.7 Moz, and attributable inferred gold resources surged 101% to 31.3 Moz.
Copper reserves increased to 6.8 million tonnes from 1.3 Mt thanks to the additions of the NuevaUnion and Norte Abierto projects.
Measured and indicated copper resources rose to 6.8 Mt from 4.1 Mt, and inferred copper resources swelled to 3.5 Mt from 500,000 tonnes.
Silver reserves shot up to 652 Moz from 86 Moz following the addition of Penasquito, supported by NuevaUnión, Norte Abierto, the Cerro Negro mine in Peru and the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic.
Measured and indicated silver resources increased to 481 Moz from 128 Moz, and inferred silver resources jumped to 217 Moz from 21 Moz.
The company reported 3.4 Mt of maiden zinc reserves and 1.5 Mt of initial lead reserves at Penasquito as well as 100,000 tonnes of maiden molybdenum reserves at NuevaUnion.
Zinc resources totaled 1.9 Mt in the measured and indicated category and 1 Mt in the inferred category. Measured and indicated lead stood at 800,000 tonnes, and inferred lead came in at 500,000 tonnes.