Gold miner Newmont sees costs below $1,000/ounce for next 5 years

A visitor holds a gold bar at an exhibition of the Rothschild collection in Madrid, Spain, June 5, 2015. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

(Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp said on Wednesday it expects to maintain profitable production of between 4.5 million and 5 million ounces of gold a year over the next five years and keep all-in sustaining costs below $1,000 an ounce.

Releasing a long-term operating outlook, Newmont, the biggest U.S.-based gold producer, said all-in sustaining costs are expected to decline from between $900 and $960 an ounce of gold in 2016 to between $850 and $950 an ounce in 2017.

“Higher margin ounces will be added with the completion of Merian, Long Canyon and expansions at Cripple Creek & Victor and Tanami,” Newmont Chief Executive Gary Goldberg said, listing a number of Newmont’s new projects and mines in North and South America and Australia.

“We will also progress the next projects in our pipeline - including expansions at Carlin and Ahafo - to further improve profitability,” he said in a statement a day before Newmont holds an investor day. Carlin is in Nevada and Ahafo in Ghana.

Attributable gold production is expected to rise to between 5.2 million and 5.7 million ounces of gold by 2017, Newmont said.

The miner is expecting attributable gold production of between 4.7 million and 5.1 million ounces of gold this year and all-in sustaining costs of $880 to $940 an ounce.

Attributable copper production is expected to be between 120,000 and 160,000 tonnes in 2016 and 2017 before decreasing to between 70,000 and 110,000 tonnes by 2018. The decline is due to the depletion of a higher grade phase at Newmont’s Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia in 2018.

Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Leslie Adler