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Newmont puts Musselwhite, Porcupine mines on the block

U.S. gold company labels Northern Ontario mines as 'non-core assets'
Newmont's Porcupine operations near Timmins (Supplied photo/Newmont)

Denver-based global miner Newmont is putting its Porcupine mines in Timmins and Musselwhite mine in northwestern Ontario on the selling block.

The company announced Feb. 22 plans to sell six “non-core” assets that includes the two operations in Northern Ontario along with its Eleonore mine in Quebec, Coffee in Yukon Territory, and a 70 per cent ownership stake in its Havieron joint venture with Greatland Gold in Western Australia.

In calling 2024 a “transformational” year for Newmont, CEO Tom Palmer said in a Feb. 22 web call that the company is pursuing a strategy of organically developing top tier gold and copper projects in the world’s most favourable mining jurisdictions, including Western Canada, New Guinea, Chile and Peru.

Newmont wants to focus its future on specifically 10 Tier 1 operations that can generate the highest returns. Mentioned in that stable are its Red Chris and Galore Creek copper-gold projects, which are in the development pipeline in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle.

This means divesting six “high quality, but non-core assets” in 2024, he said. The proceeds from the sale of these mines, along with free cash flow from operations, will cut into its $8 billion debt. Newmont had acquired Newcrest Mining of Australia in November.

In setting a debt reduction target of $1 billion, Newmont has outlined cost and productivity improvements that includes job cuts.

Newmont picked up Musselwhite and Porcupine in a $10-billion deal through its acquisition of Goldcorp in 2019.

The company produced a total of 5.5 million ounces of gold in 2023 from its mines in North America, Africa, Australia, Latin America and New Guinea, an almost 7 per cent drop from the 6.96 million ounces generated in 2022.

"Newmont's go-forward portfolio is the new standard for gold and copper mining," said Palmer in a news release. "This portfolio provides our shareholders with exposure to the highest concentration of Tier 1 assets in the sector, each with the scale and mine life to generate strong free cash flows, and all located in the world's most favourable mining jurisdictions.”