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Newmont has minimised staffing levels at its operations significantly, stating that the health and safety of its people and host communities is “paramount” to the company.
The company’s Australian gold production dropped by 24 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared with the prior corresponding period.
Newmont produced 258,000 ounces of gold, down from 340,000 ounces last year.
The gold miner also started ramping down the Peñasquito operations in Mexico last month, with the mine now placed on care and maintenance.
It is, however, in the process of ramping up operations at the Éléonore (Quebec), Cerro Negro (Argentina) and Yanacocha (Peru) mines after putting them in care and maintenance in March.
Mines that represent around 90 per cent of Newmont’s planned production outlook for 2020 are now operational.
“Newmont is well positioned to safely and efficiently ramp-up mining operations in a timely manner,” the company stated in its first quarter results report.
“The company’s long-term value proposition remains unchanged, despite these shorter-term disruptions, as Newmont continues to have the industry’s largest gold mineral reserves of 95.7 million ounces.”
Newmont chief executive Tom Palmer added: “We are responding to COVID-19 from a position of strength, taking proactive steps to prioritise the well-being of our employees and the communities in which we operate.
“These unprecedented times further highlight the importance of a proven operating model, talented workforce and the ability to adapt to dynamic circumstances quickly and with care for all stakeholders.”
Newmont also approved autonomous haulage at the Boddington mine in Western Australia, which was targeted to improve safety.
The $US150 million ($227 million) project will see autonomous Cat 793F mining trucks operate alongside the MineStar Command for hauling system starting 2021.