Newmont puts four mines on hold, withdraws production outlook
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Newmont puts four mines on hold, withdraws production outlook

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DENVER — Newmont Corp. reported the company has taken extra protection measures against the coronavirus, including placing four mines on care and maintenance in Canada, Argentina and Peru, and the company has withdrawn its production outlook for the year.

“Our business continuity plans and rapid response teams have been fully mobilized in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic,” said Newmont President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Palmer, who reported Newmont is working closely with communities, regional and national governments and health experts.

The Colorado-based company stated the full-year production outlook is suspended, because a portion of gold production will likely be deferred into 2021. Newmont’s forecast had been 6.7 million ounces of gold production in 2020.

Newmont now expects to produce roughly 1.4 million attributable ounces of gold in the current quarter that ends March 31 and roughly 325,000 co-product gold equivalent ounces. Through Feb. 29, the company produced 981,000 ounces of gold and roughly 227,000 co-product gold equivalent ounces, according to the March 23 announcement.

Newmont and Barrick Gold Corp. have a joint venture, Nevada Gold Mines, for operations in Nevada, with Newmont’s percent of production at 38.5 percent. Barrick is the operator and holds 61.5 percent of the joint venture.

The four mines on care and maintenance are Musselwhite and Eleonore in Canada, Cerro Negro in Argentine and Yanacocha in Peru. Mines representing 80 percent of the production outlook continue operating with protective measures in place, but the company said if it determines at any point the mines in operation pose an increased risk to the workforce or communities, activities will be cut back.

“We are also making sure that these short-term disruptions do not impact long-term business value while ensuring we are well-positioned to safely and efficiently ramp-up operations in a timely manner once the worst of this global pandemic passes,” Palmer said.

Newmont has $2.2 billion in consolidated cash and more than $5 billion in liquidity to manage through the global pandemic, according to the news release.

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