UPDATE 1-Newmont sees costs constraining Boddington mine

Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:56pm EDT

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DENVER, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Cost pressures are constraining development at Newmont Mining Corp's (NEM.N) Boddington mine project in Western Australia, the company's chief executive told the Denver Gold Forum on Wednesday.

He added that detailed cost estimates will be outlined in the second-largest gold miner's third-quarter earnings report due in October.

"Costs continue to pressure there (Boddington)," Newmont CEO Richard O'Brien said in a corporate presentation.

Earlier, a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed Newmont expected to start the Boddington mine in early to mid-2009, with initial five-year average annual equity production between 600,000 and 700,000 ounces of gold.

The company also said the Boddington project will continue to be hit by industry-wide inflationary pressures and a tightening Australian labor market.

Newmont said it will provide an updated capital cost estimate and project completion schedule when it releases third-quarter results.

Once complete, Newmont said the Boddington mine will have expected life of more than 20 yrs.

O'Brien also said he continues to be bullish on gold prices, due to a host of factors, including financial market problems and lower mine output.

Newmont stock was trading 22 cents higher at $36.95 a share on the New York Stock Exchange in early afternoon.

Spot gold XAU= remained well below the $800 level at 12:45 p.m. EDT at $763.50/764.50 an ounce, well below $775.80/777.80 an ounce in late Tuesday business. (Reporting by Frank Tang, writing by Carole Vaporean, editing by Matthew Lewis)

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