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Ounces of gold mined among Newmont Mining Corp.’s global assets is expected to remain steady in 2019 but dip slightly in the longer term, the company reported in its 2019 guidance report released in December.

Newmont expects to produce about 5.2 million ounces of attributable gold in 2019 across its portfolio of working mines in four regions, including North America, Africa, Australia and South America.

The company estimated production in the new year to be comparable to 2017 but at a higher all in sustaining cost for gold. In 2017, Newmont produced 5.26 attributable gold ounces at an AISC of $924 per ounce, while the AISC is expected to be $934 per ounce in 2019.

The year-end production report for 2018 is not available yet, but the third-quarter report stated that the company planned to produce between 4.9 million and 5.2 million ounces of gold by the end of 2018, down from an earlier prediction of up to 5.4 million ounces.

Attributable gold production is expected to reach 5.2 million ounces in 2019, primarily due to higher grades at Newmont’s recently completed Subika Underground project in Africa, yet production is expected to decrease slightly in the longer term.

Production is expected to be 4.9 million ounces in 2020 and between 4.4 million and 4.9 million ounces per year through 2023 because of lower ore grades in North America and Australia, said Newmont President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Palmer in a webcast.

North America’s contribution is expected to be 1.9 million ounces in 2019 as higher grade production from Northwest Exodus near Carlin and Twin Underground near Golconda are offset by the depletion of Silverstar ore at the Carlin operations and lower gold production at the Phoenix Mine as mining shifts to higher copper grade ore, the company stated in a release.

Production remains at 1.9 million ounces in 2020 and 2021 as higher grades at Long Canyon following the stripping campaign help offset lower grades at Cripple Creek & Victor.

North American production also may be impacted by the Gold Quarry wall slide in October, and mine plan optimization work is ongoing.

Production from the open pit in 2019 could decrease by 60,000 ounces, Palmer said in the webcast. The company expects to be able to recover some of those ounces, as production from Gold Quarry represents only 5 to 10 percent total production at the Carlin operations, he said.

In 2019, South America production is expected to be 650,000 ounces; Australia, 1.5 million ounces; and Africa, 1.1 million ounces.

The company also produces copper, and 2019 attributable production is forecast to reach about 45,000 metric tons as the Phoenix mine intersects more copper in the ore at its Nevada mine. AISC for copper is expected to be $2.45 per pound in 2019, Newmont stated.

Despite the webcast’s focus on production, Newmont CEO Gary J. Goldberg said nothing is more important than safety.

He took a few moments before the report “to acknowledge the loss of our colleague, Romney Natapu, that occurred [in November] in a tragic accident at our Pete Bajo underground mine in Nevada.

This serves as a heartbreaking reminder that nothing is more important than safety. We’re conducting an in-depth investigation into the root causes so that we can apply lessons learned across our operations and share these more widely across the mining industry in order to prevent this type of accident from ever happening again.”

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