Engineering & Mining Journal

JUL 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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NEWS-LEADING DEVELOPMENTS 4 E&MJ • JULY 2019 Barrick Gold, Newmont GoldCorp Finalize Nevada Gold Mines JV Barrick Gold and Newmont Goldcorp have concluded the transaction establishing Ne- vada Gold Mines LLC, in which 61.5% will be owned by Barrick and 38.5% will be owned by Newmont Goldcorp. Barrick will be the operator of the new company. The new joint venture will rank as the largest global gold-producing complex by a wide margin, with three of the world's top 10 tier-one gold assets — Goldstrike/Carlin, Cortez and Turquoise Ridge/Twin Creeks — and potentially another one in the making at Goldrush, according to the companies. Its assets in northeastern Nevada com- prise 10 underground and 12 open-pit mines, two autoclave facilities, two roasting facilities, four oxide mills, a flotation plant and five heap-leach facilities. In 2018, these operations produced a total of 4.1 million ounces (oz) of gold, approximately double that of the industry's next largest gold mine (Muruntau in Uzbekistan). The company has proven and probable reserves of 48.3 million ounces; measured and in- dicated resources of 27.4 million ounces; and a further 7.5 million ounces of inferred resources with still more potential. Nevada Gold Mines is targeting pro- duction of between 1.8 million oz and 1.9 million oz at a preliminary estimated cost of sales of $940 to $970 per oz and AISC of $920 to $950 per oz for the sec- ond half of 2019. "Its creation was driven by a compel- ling logic, which had long been evident to all but had been elusive for two decades until we finally achieved a breakthrough this year," Barrick President and CEO Mark Bristow, who is chairman of the new company, said. "Over the past months, we have selected and set Nevada Gold Mines' leadership in place. "The company now has one team that shares one vision, and who are more than ready to race out of the starting blocks. We have also identified the very signifi- cant synergy opportunities, which are im- mediately available and those which have been targeted for the future." Identified synergies are expected to de- liver up to $500 million per year over the first five years from 2020, stepping down over time after that. These will come main- ly from integrated mine planning, opti- mized mining and processing, cost reduc- tions, and the combination of the adjacent Turquoise Ridge and Twin Creeks, which will be operated as a single mine. Second half guidance builds in those synergies that the company believes it should be able to realize within the next six months, representing approximately half of the tar- geted annual cash flow improvements. Bristow noted that the Nevada Gold Mines management team included execu- tives from both joint venture partners. The executive managing director is Greg Walk- er, formerly head of operations and techni- cal excellence for Barrick's North American region. Barrick has three board seats and Newmont Goldcorp has two, with the board supported by technical, finance and explo- ration advisory committees on which both companies have equal representation. Rio Tinto Completes Rollout of AutoHaul Rail Program Rio Tinto joined representatives of the government of Western Australia and lead project technology partner Hitachi Rail STS on June 14 to celebrate the success- ful deployment of Rio Tinto's AutoHaul rail program. It is the world's first automated, heavy-haul, long-distance rail network. The $940 million AutoHaul program uses automated trains to transport iron ore from Rio Tinto's mines in the Pilba- ra region of Western Australia to its port facilities at Dampier and Cape Lambert. The system is monitored from 1,500 kilo- meters (km) away in Perth. Rio Tinto operates about 200 locomo- tives on what is the largest privately owned rail network in Australia. The 2.4-km-long trains travel across a network of 1,700 km of track, delivering iron ore from 16 mines. The trains have safely traveled autono- mously more than 4.5 million km since they were first deployed in 2018. All locomotives are fitted with Auto- Haul safety systems, including collision detection systems, automatic train pro- tection technology that controls train speed to ensure adherence to speed lim- its, and an onboard video camera to re- cord the front view from the train. The world-first AutoHaul program was made possible by close collaboration be- tween Rio Tinto and project partners from Japan, the United States and Australia. These include Hitachi Rail, Calibre, New York Air Brake, Wabtec, and others, who pro- vided the necessary expertise, innovation, and software to make AutoHaul a success. Several of these partners maintain a strong presence in Western Australia and have committed to continuing to invest locally. AutoHaul trains, which deliver safety and productivity benefits for Rio Tinto's iron ore business, have also firmly positioned Western Australia and its heavy-haul rail in- dustry as a global leader in the joint devel- opment and application of rail technology. In 2018, these operations produced a total of 4.1 million oz of gold, approximately double that of the industry's next largest gold mine.

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