Newmont: Nevada reserves rise during ’04 |

Newmont: Nevada reserves rise during ’04

Newmont Gold Corp., the biggest mining operator in Nevada, said last week its exploration during 2004 more than replaced the ounces of gold it mined in the state.

The Denver-based company said it added 3.2 million ounces of gold to its reserves in Nevada last year while mining 3 million ounces Its reserves in the state stood at nearly 34 million ounces on Dec.


That’s the highest figure in 39 years.

A big piece of the additional reserves 2.3 million ounces came at from the new Phoenix Mine south of Battle Mountain.

Construction of the mine began late last year, and production is projected to begin in 2006.

That mine also contains significant reserves of copper.

Newmont said its reserve estimates were based on an assumption that gold will sell for $350 an ounce.

Gold was selling last week at $416 an ounce.

Although that was the lowest price since October, it still is well above the figure used by Newmont in its calculations.

A higher gold price,Newmont said,would allow it to mine deposits that otherwise are economically marginal.

Company-wide, $400 gold would add about nine million ounces of reserves to the total of 92.4 million available if gold sells at $350.

On the other hand, the company said it doesn’t have enough information from drilling in some of those marginal deposits to make good estimates of reserves at higher prices.

Newmont said its reserves at some of its major Nevada mines include:

* Carlin Open Pit: 1.13 million ounces.

* Carlin Underground: 1.2 million ounces

* Twin Creeks: 1.2 million ounces.

Newmont owns or controls more than 3,000 square miles of land in Nevada, most of it along the Interstate 80 corridor between Winnemucca and Carlin.