Newmont Mining has started construction on its $1bn Merian Gold project in Suriname, South America.
Located around 40 miles south of Moengo, the 1,235 acre project belongs to Newmont’s wholly owned entity Suriname Gold Company (Surgold), reported The Washington Times.
With gold reserves of 4.2 million ounces, the mine will have three open pits, a processing plant, waste-rock disposal areas, a tailings storage facility and a camp for workers.
Commercial production at the mine is expected to start in late 2016 after which Newmont expects the mine to produce an average of 300,000oz to 400,000oz of gold a year during its 11-year life.
The company is likely to incur costs of $750 to $850 per ounce in the first five years and $825 to $960 per ounce for the life of the mine.
Newmont Mining CEO and president Gary Goldberg told the media group: “Our team has been on the ground in Suriname for ten years, shaping Merian into a profitable project and securing a solid position in the Guiana Shield.”
The Suriname Government has an option to buy 25% ownership stake in the project.
Surgold will employ 2,500 people during the development of the project and around 1,300 when it reaches its full operation. Newmont had previously said that it has fixed its gold production target between 4.7 million ounces and five million ounces.