Newmont considers drilling restart after coronavirus delays

The Tanami gold operation in the Northern Territory. Image: Newmont

Newmont Corporation has revised its 2020 outlook due to uncertainty associated with coronavirus, including changes to its development schedule and budget.

The company has revised its consolidated production from 6.3 million to 5.9 million ounces, and its attributable production from 6.4 million ounces to six million ounces.

This revised estimate is at the lower end of its previous outlook, with the estimated all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1015 sitting at the upper end of the range of the previous cost outlook.

It takes into consideration Newmont’s five operations that were temporarily placed on care and maintenance, and the predicted low production and high cost during the second quarter of this year.

“The revised 2020 outlook assumes that operations will continue throughout the remainder of the year without major interruptions,” Newmont stated in an ASX announcement.

“Newmont’s long-term guidance remains unchanged, with stable production of more than six million ounces and improving costs from 2021 through 2024.”

Newmont also continues to advance the majority of its development projects, including the expansion of the Tanami gold mine in the Northern Territory, despite coronavirus interruptions.

The company’s total capital expenditure for this year is expected to sit at around $US1.3 billion ($1.9 billion) due to the restriction of non-essential activities across its global operations.

Newmont also delayed some expenditures due to changes to the development capital schedule for Tanami expansion 2 and deferral of the Boddington autonomous haulage project in Western Australia to 2021.

The company also allocated about 80 per cent of it to near-mine exploration and suspended most of the work during March.

Newmont, however, plans to ramp up its near-mine drilling programs and restart greenfields exploration and drilling when local restrictions are lifted in Australia, Africa and South America.

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