New gold mine commissioned in Suriname
Surgold, a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation, began commercial production at its new Merian gold mine in Suriname, which was officially commissioned last weekend.
Newmont, an American company, said the Merian project was completed at a cost of US$150 million.
"We took an optimised approach to project development and benefited from being one of the only gold producers investing in growth during the lower price cycle," said Gary Goldberg, Newmont president and chief executive officer.
"Our team built Merian safely, on schedule and significantly below budget ... the result of strong partnerships with the government and people of Suriname, and the extensive experience G-Mining brought to project development," he added.
The Suriname government had exercised its option to take a fully funded 25 per cent equity stake in Merian in November 2013, held through Staatsolie, the state-owned oil company.
"I am feeling like a father seeing his child graduate from college", said Staatsolie CEO Rudolf Elias, noting that since mine completion was below the initial capital budget, Staatsolie is paying less for its 25 per cent stake.
According to Newmont, so far it has achieved sustained average mill throughput of 80 per cent and gold recovery of more than 90 per cent over the last 30 days. Stockpiled ore represents nearly 160,000 contained ounces of gold.
Merian said it estimates gold reserves at 5.1 million ounces and expects annual production to average between 400,000 and 500,000 ounces of gold at competitive costs in the first five full years of production.
The American-owned mine is one of two now operating in Suriname, the first being the Rosebel gold mine of Canada-based company, Iamgold.