Following his presentation at the Denver Gold Forum, it was pointed out that Goldberg used the word “copper” quite a bit more than in the past.
“Two years ago, you probably wouldn’t have been saying copper and there’s a premium for gold producers that would suggest that diversifying into copper wouldn’t make sense,” Goldberg said.
“When you take a look at our capabilities and from a shareholder standpoint, we run three copper-gold operations and produce concentrate from those three.”
Goldberg also pointed out that in a Newmont first, the company would start a copper oxide leach operation at Phoenix in Nevada before the end of the year and look at bioleaching sulphides at Yanacocha in Peru.
“We really do have some core capabilities we can leverage into copper as we look at refreshing our strategy,” he said.
“It’s not that we’re going to go target a certain percentage volume of copper but I think it’s leveraging our capabilities so we don’t restrict ourselves just to gold.
“In the future we’ll look at gold and copper opportunities but remember, it’s got to add value, add to mine life, take us down the cost curve and be in a jurisdiction where we can manage the social-political risk and manage the technical risk, so it’s on the table as another option for us to consider as we look to the future.”
Newmont expects to produce 70-80 million pounds of copper this year at cash costs of $US2.45-2.65 per pound.