Newmont Mining Corp. has completed its Northwest Exodus project, extending mine life from the Exodus underground operation in the Carlin North area for 10 years. Northwest Exodus marks Newmont’s second profitable expansion in the last month adding higher-grade, lower-cost gold production in Nevada. The project was completed safely, ahead of schedule and within budget for $69 million, the company said in a statement.
Featuring fit-for-purpose technologies to enhance safety, productivity and efficiency, such as autonomous underground mobile equipment and production drills, Northwest Exodus will add between 1.4 t and 2.1 t/a (50,000 and 75,000 ooz/year) gold production and lower Carlin’s all-in sustaining costs by approximately $25/oz in the first five years of operation. Northwest Exodus’s underground infrastructure also provides exploration platforms to support future growth in a highly prospective gold district.
“Northwest Exodus leverages fit-for-purpose technologies, existing infrastructure and higher-grade ore to lower costs, extend mine life and deliver an internal rate of return of more than 40 percent,” said Tom Palmer, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “As our newest expansion, Northwest Exodus demonstrates Newmont’s commitment to investing prudently in viable technologies that enhance safety and generate long-term value for our stakeholders.”
The project was designed to support autonomous operations and is currently running two autonomous mobile loaders and pilot-testing autonomous drills to access and recover ore. The operation is also fitted with reliable, high-bandwidth underground WiFi to connect people, systems and equipment.
Over the last five years, Newmont has built eight new mines and expansions on four continents, including Akyem and the Phoenix Copper Leach in 2013, Merian and Long Canyon in 2016, Tanami in 2017, and Twin Underground in 2018. The company also completed a value-accretive acquisition of Cripple Creek and Victor in 2015 and delivered a profitable expansion at the mine in 2016.