The Quecher Main project takes advantage of Yanacocha's established infrastructure to add profitable production from the remaining oxide ores while also serving as a bridge to future growth opportunities, including the extensive sulphide deposits.
Quecher Main extends the life of the Yanacocha operation to 2027, contributing about 200,000oz/y from 2020 through 2024 at all-in sustaining costs between US$900-$1,000/oz. The project is expected to generate an internal rate of return of about 15% at a $1,200 gold price.
The project entailed building the Quecher Main pit, two smaller oxide deposits and a new heap leach pad.
It was completed for about $275 million, below the top-end of its initial $250-$300 million budget.
The company expects to make a production decision on the sulphides option next year.
Yanacocha declared commercial production in 1993 and has since produced more than 38Moz gold from openpit oxide and transitional ores, processed at the on-site mill and leach pad.
CEO Tom Palmer said early completion of the project under budget was a testament to the group's close attention to execution. "Quecher Main is the fourth profitable project we've brought into operation on four different continents this year, on schedule and within budget."
The operation is a joint venture between US-based Newmont Goldcorp (51.35%), Peru's Minas Buenaventura (43.65%) and Jaan-based Sumitomo Corporation (5%).