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Newmont Mining declares commercial production at Merian gold mine

Newmont Mining Corp. said Oct. 3 that it completed construction of the Merian gold mine in Suriname on time and more than US$150 million below its initial development CapEx budget.

On Oct. 1, the NYSE-listed company poured the first gold and declared commercial production after achieving sustained average mill throughput of 80% and gold recovery of more than 90% over the last 30 days.

Newmont noted that stockpiled ore at Merian represents about 160,000 ounces of gold.

Annual production at the Merian mine is expected to average between 400,000 ounces and 500,000 ounces of gold, with all-in sustaining costs anticipated in the range of US$650 per ounce to US$750 per ounce during the first five years of operations.

The mine hosts gold reserves of 5.1 million ounces, while further exploration extended the life of the mine to 13 years from 11 years and continues to identify further upside potential within Newmont's 500,000-hectare area of interest, including a new discovery at Sabajo.

The government of Suriname holds a 25% equity ownership stake in Merian, through Staatsolie.

The news is in line with a September announcement by Newmont outlining a target to add about 1 million ounces of gold to its portfolio by mid-2017.