DENVER — Newmont Mining Corp. on Wednesday announced gold reserves of 94.2 million ounces as of the end of 2020, including 17.4 million ounces from the company’s 38% share of the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture.
Newmont’s portion of the NGM gold reserves at year end compared with 18.6 million gold ounces at the end of 2019, with NGM adding 800,000 ounces after depletion from mining operations. Barrick Gold Corp. owns the remaining 61.5% of NGM and is the operator.
Worldwide, Newmont’s 2020 reserves are down slightly from the 95.7 million ounces of gold reserves at the end of 2019, but the company still holds the title as top reserve-holder, according to the announcement.
“As the world’s leading gold company, Newmont has an exceptional history of exploration success and a track record of consistently delivering on our commitments,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Palmer.
He said Newmont added 6 million ounces of gold reserves in 2020 despite the “challenges of an unprecedented year. Newmont’s ability to replace reserves is underpinned by our disciplined operating model and world-class portfolio, which will support stable production for decades to come.”
Newmont stated that 35% of its gold reserves are in North America, 33% in South America, 20% in Australia and 12% in Africa. The reserves in North America include those from the company’s share of Nevada Gold Mines, and reserves in South America include its 40% share of the Pueblo Viejo Mine in the Dominican Republic, also operated by Barrick.
Newmont reported that the 2020 reserve total of 94.2 million ounces was after adjustments for its sale of its share of KCGM in Kalgoorlie, Australia, and Red Lake Mine in Canada.
Newmont said depletion of 7.5 million gold ounces from mining was countered by 4.9 million ounces of reserves added through exploration in a year of COVID-19 restrictions and extra safety protocols. Revisions also were counted in the final reserve figures, such as converting of a layback at the Boddington Mine in Australia from resource to reserve.
The revision at NGM was negative, however, at 400,000 ounces, according to Newmont.
Newmont also reported measured and indicated gold resources totaling 69.6 million ounces and 31.6 million ounces of inferred resources.
Newmont based calculations for gold reserves on a gold price of $1,200 per ounce, even though gold prices went much higher in 2020, even reaching $2,000 an ounce. Gold resources were determined at a price of $1,400 an ounce. The gold prices used were the same as those used in 2019.
The company stated that a $100 increase in the gold price would result in a roughly 4% increase in gold reserves, while a $100 drop in the gold price results in about a 7% decrease in gold reserves.
Newmont also posted 6.9 million metric tons of copper reserves at year end, 8 million metric tons in the measured and indicated category and 3.9 million metric tons in inferred resources. Copper reserves were figured at $2.75 per pound and resources at $3.25 per pound.