11/09/2008 - 12:49

Boddington gold project may be delayed

11/09/2008 - 12:49

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The schedule for Australia's largest gold mine could be extended as manager Newmont Mining Corporation said work on the Boddington operation is now 83 per cent complete.

The schedule for Australia's largest gold mine could be extended as manager Newmont Mining Corporation said work on the Boddington operation is now 83 per cent complete.

In a presentation to delegates at the Denver gold forum, Newmont said the ongoing industry-wide inflation and tightening Australian labour market is expected to extend the schedule which could result in higher costs.

The capital expenditure for the project, a joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti Ltd which holds 33.3 per cent, is currently pegged at $2.4 billion.

Newmont's share of the cost is between $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion, according to its last quarterly report.

The company said it was working with its partners towards a project start up in early to mid 2009 and will provide an update on capital cost estimates and a project completion schedule during the third quarter earnings call.

The open-cut operation is expected to produce an average of 850,000 ounces of gold and 30,000 tonnes of copper a year for more than 20 years, making it the largest gold project in Australia.

The project has total gold reserves of more than 15 million ounces.

At its peak, the operation will employ about 1,000 workers and during its operation is expected to generate $770 million a year for Western Australia's economy.

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