Twin Creeks celebrated three landmarks in 2017: 30 years since inception, 20 years since becoming a Newmont Mining Corp. property, and commencing the site’s first underground mining.

Newmont earned approval and funding for the project in July. Authorization kicked off preparations underground and on the surface to move the project toward commercial production, projected to begin in mid-2018. About 45 miles northeast of Winnemucca, the Twin Creeks site totals 13,000 acres, with 9,000 acres used for operations.

Underground mining contractor Small Mine Development mobilized this summer to build the mine. Once stoping begins, the team anticipates that the mine initially will produce about 600 ore tons a day and ramp up to about 1,200 ore tons a day in the last two years covered by the mine plan, which extends through 2021. The development is expected to total 9.7 miles.

The Twin Creeks underground defined resource is about 1.3 million tons containing more than 244,000 ounces of gold. With those numbers, the mine plan shows that Twin Creeks underground is viable for about five years, but Newmont staff anticipates that mine life will extend much longer.

Look for the full story and photos about Twin Creeks underground in the winter 2017 issue of Mining Quarterly, to be published Dec. 7.