Calling it the best unmined gold deposit in West Africa, Newmont (NYSE: NEM; TSX: NGT) has decided to proceed with the development of the Ahafo North project in Ghana. Thirty kilometres to the south, mining is currently underway on the Ahafo South project, which has attributable annual production of 643,000 oz. of gold.
Four pits are planned at Ahafo North as well as a 3.7-million-t/y mill. Annual production will be between 275,000 and 325,000 oz. of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of US$600 to US$700 per oz. for the first five years. Capital costs are estimated between US$750 million and $850 million, and construction will be finished in the second half of 2023. At current gold prices, the project has an internal rate of return of over 30%.
Newmont has set a goal to achieve gender parity at Ahafo North by the start of production. Meanwhile, peak construction will provide 1,800 jobs, and more than 550 permanent jobs will be created.