DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM) (“Newmont” or “the Company”) welcomed the government of Suriname’s decision to exercise its option to participate in a fully-funded, 25 percent equity ownership stake in the Merian Gold Project.
“We look forward to partnering with the government and people of Suriname in the Merian Gold Project,” said Gary Goldberg, President and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition to anchoring a new, prospective gold district in the Guiana Shield, Merian represents a profitable mine that will be a catalyst for responsible economic and social development.”
The Republic of Suriname has assigned its right to participate to Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V. (“Staatsolie”) a Surinamese corporation fully owned by the State of Suriname. Surgold, a wholly-owned Newmont entity, will be the managing partner with a 75 percent interest. Staatsolie, the limited partner, will hold the remaining 25 percent interest.
Staatsolie has made its initial cash contribution of approximately $83 million to Newmont. This payment follows the recent sale of Newmont’s stake in the Penmont joint venture, bringing total proceeds of divestments to nearly $1.4 billion in the last 18 months. With success in divesting non-core assets and confidence in future cash flows, Newmont intends to immediately allocate $100 million to repay a portion of its term loan.
Total capital investment for Merian is approximately $900 million to $1 billion, and the government of Suriname’s fully-funded interest includes contributions to all future project capital, operating expenses and exploration within an area of approximately 500,000 hectares (“Area of Interest”). The Mineral Agreement, executed between the Republic of Suriname and Surgold on November 22, 2013, establishes the terms and conditions that apply to the partnership within the Area of Interest. Newmont expects to fund its approximate $600 million to $700 million remaining share of capital expense for Merian through available cash balances and projected cash flows.
Merian contains gold reserves of 4.2 million ounces1 and is expected to produce an average of 400,000 to 500,000 ounces per year in the first five years of operation with estimated average costs applicable to sales of between $650 and $750 per ounce, and estimated average all-in sustaining costs2 of between $750 and $850 per ounce.
Construction of Merian is underway and includes upgrading of roads and preparing the camp, mine and mill sites. Surgold expects to employ up to 2,500 people during project development and 1,300 during full operation.
Founded in 1921 and publicly traded since 1925, Newmont is a leading producer of gold and copper. Headquartered in Colorado, the Company has approximately 29,000 employees and contractors, with the majority working at managed operations in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Indonesia and Ghana. Newmont is the only gold company listed in the S&P 500 index and in 2007 became the first gold company selected to be part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. Newmont is an industry leader in value creation, supported by its leading technical, environmental, and health and safety performance.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbor created by such sections and other applicable laws. Such forward-looking statements may include, without limitation: (i) estimates of future production and sales; (ii) estimates of future costs applicable to sales and all-in sustaining costs; (iii) estimates of future capital expenditures; (iv) expectations regarding the development, growth and exploration potential of Merian; (v) total investment and full funding estimates; and (vi) expectations regarding future funding and cash flow. Estimates or expectations of future events or results are based upon certain assumptions, which may prove to be incorrect. Such assumptions, include, but are not limited to: (i) there being no significant change to current geotechnical, metallurgical, hydrological and other physical conditions; (ii) permitting, development, operations and expansion of the Company’s projects being consistent with current expectations and mine plans, including without limitation receipt of export approvals; (iii) political developments in any jurisdiction in which the Company operates being consistent with its current expectations; (iv) certain exchange rate assumptions being approximately consistent with current levels; (v) certain price assumptions for gold, copper and oil; (vi) prices for key supplies being approximately consistent with current levels; and (vii) the accuracy of our current mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates. Where the Company expresses or implies an expectation or belief as to future events or results, such expectation or belief is expressed in good faith and believed to have a reasonable basis. However, such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed, projected or implied by the “forward-looking statements”. Such risks include, but are not limited to, gold and other metals price volatility, currency fluctuations, increased production costs and variances in ore grade or recovery rates from those assumed in mining plans, political and operational risks, community relations, conflict resolution and outcome of projects or oppositions and governmental regulation and judicial outcomes. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors, see the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed on February 21, 2014, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), as well as the Company’s other SEC filings. The Company does not undertake any obligation to release publicly revisions to any “forward-looking statement,” including, without limitation, outlook, to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this news release, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required under applicable securities laws. Investors should not assume that any lack of update to a previously issued “forward-looking statement” constitutes a reaffirmation of that statement. Continued reliance on “forward-looking statements” is at investors' own risk.
1 Reserves are presented as of December 31, 2013 on a consolidated basis. On such basis, reserves at Merian were estimated at 108,250 ktonnes of Probable Reserves, grading 1.22 gpt for 4.2Moz, using a $1,300/oz gold price assumption. See http://www.newmont.com/our-investors/reserves-and-resources for the Company’s 2013 Reserves and Resources and additional information.
2 All-in sustaining costs is a non-GAAP metric and is estimated for purposes of this forward-looking statement as the sum of expected cost applicable to sales (including all direct and indirect costs related to gold production incurred to execute on the current mine plan), remediation costs (including operating accretion and amortization of asset retirement costs), G&A, exploration expense, advanced projects and R&D, treatment and refining costs, other expense, net of one-time adjustments and sustaining capital. See cautionary note on page 2 regarding Forwarding-Looking Statements.