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Newmont Goldcorp's Ahafo expansion hits commercial production

Newmont Goldcorp Corp. said a US$175 million expansion of its Ahafo gold operations in Ghana reached commercial production, with expectations that it would lower costs and boost output.

Newmont expanded the Ahafo mill by 50% and estimated that gold output would climb to between 550,000 and 650,000 ounces per year on average until about 2025. The company announced the expansion in 2017.

The growth project pulls in ore from Ahafo's open pits and the Subika underground mine, where Newmont declared commercial production in November 2018.

"The mill expansion is expected to generate an internal rate of return of more than 20% at a US$1,200 gold price, while also extending profitable production at Ahafo through at least 2029," Newmont President and CEO Tom Palmer said in an Oct. 15 statement.

Newmont said sales from the operation in 2018 were 436,000 ounces of gold with all-in sustaining costs of US$864 per ounce.