Suriname

Merian Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Gold
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
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SnapshotThe Merian mine operation currently includes the Merian 2 open pit, the Merian 1 open pit, the Maraba open pit, and the Kupari open pit.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Newmont Corp. 75 % Indirect
Newmont Suriname, LLC. (operator) 75 % Direct
The Merian project is 75% owned by Newmont Suriname, LLC, a wholly-owned indirect ?ubsidiary of Newmont and 25% by Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V, a company wholly owned by the Republic of Suriname.

Deposit type

  • Vein / narrow vein
  • Breccia pipe / Stockwork
  • Orogenic

Summary:

All of the gold mineralization at Merian is closely associated with quartz veining within siltstone and sandstone formations.

The Merian Operations lie within Lower Proterozoic-aged rocks of the Guiana Shield. The northeast portion of Suriname is dominated by rocks of the Marowijne Supergroup which comprise the Rosebel Formation and the underlying Armina Formation. Mineralization discovered to date is consistent with an orogenic gold deposit model.

The deposits are structurally-controlled by a northwest-trending, southeast-plunging antiform (the Merian antiform) that has been interpreted from mapping and geophysical data. Northweststriking, moderate- to steeply-dipping faults and shear zones occur along the axial trace and limbs of the Merian antiform. Gold mineralization occurs in association with quartz veins, stockworks and breccias along these northwest-trending structural zones. Minor disseminated mineralization can occur adjacent to the quartz vein zones. A set of low-angle veins also occurs throughout the Project area and is interpreted to occupy low-angle imbricate thrust fault zones. The veins may be cross-cut by later, mineralized, quartz breccia bodies. Northeast and east–west-trending faults, which are also interpreted to have pre- and post-mineral displacement, cross-cut the Merian antiform and may, in part, bound or localize mineralization along the northwest-striking structural fabric.

At both Merian II and Maraba, gold mineralization is associated with quartz veins and breccias. Higher gold values are associated with higher vein density at both deposits. At Merian II, the highest gold values correlate with quartz breccias. Quartz veins range from several percent to 60–80% of the rock volume. Mineralization at Merian I is associated with quartz veins, but the breccias that are common in Merian II and Maraba do not occur.

In fresh rock, trace-to-several percent pyrite, pyrrhotite, and magnetite locally occur in, and adjacent to, quartz veins and breccias. Trace amounts of chalcopyrite, bornite, and molybdenite have been identified in fresh rock and in drill core.

In core and thin sections, gold has been observed in quartz veins, late fractures in quartz, in quartz vein selvages, and along mineral grain boundaries such as quartz/ankerite and quartz/pyrite. Gold appears to be late in the paragenetic sequence. Gold also occurs disseminated in the wall rock associated with pyrite and/or chlorite–carbonate–ankerite forming lower grade halos which can extend from a few to tens of meters around zones of higher vein densities. Intense white clay (kaolinite) alteration is indicative of some of these disseminated zones or halos in the saprolite or saprock.

Merian II is currently in production and is mining above and below the saprolite–fresh rock interface. Gold mineralization at Merian II occurs over a strike length of approximately 3.5 km, is elongate in a northwest–southeast direction, is 200–600 m wide and has been drill-tested to a depth of 675 m. The deposit is interpreted to occur along the axial trace of the Merian antiform.

Two distinct structural styles of mineralization are identified:
• Gold mineralization associated with northwest striking, shallow- to moderatelynortheast-dipping sheeted and/or tabular quartz vein zones and quartz stockworks;
• Gold mineralization associated with higher-angle, northeast-dipping veins and irregular quartz breccia bodies.

A northwest-striking, northeast-dipping quartz breccia body referred to as the “92 shoot” forms the core or central portion of the deposit. The “92 shoot” quartz breccia consists primarily of white to gray quartz, albite, ankerite, wall rock clasts and clasts of earlier-formed quartz veins; it is irregular in geometry and ranges in thickness locally from meters to tens of meters. Higher gold grades are associated with the “92 shoot” and quartz breccias. Overall, gold grade increases predictably with increasing quartz vein density and quartz breccias (>90% quartz veins) tend to correlate with higher gold grades.

Moderately dipping sheeted and irregular quartz veins and stockwork zones and minor quartz breccia occur in the footwall and hanging wall of the “92 shoot”. These sheeted and irregular quartz veins may be massive, banded, or have a sugary texture. Individual veins range in thickness from millimeters to 1–2 m thickness and generally occur as mappable zones of veining ranging in thickness from several meters to ±50 m.

All veins and quartz breccias may be locally folded and faulted. Observations made from core logging and mapping of field exposures show that the “92 shoot” quartz breccia is a later event that cross-cuts the earlier-formed sheeted and irregular quartz veins that occur in the footwall and hanging wall of the “92 shoot”.

Saprolite thickness ranges from 20 m to as deep as 140 m (50% ranging from 60–90 m). Deep oxidation or saprolite development occurs both within and adjacent to zones of more intense quartz veins. Saprock ranges in thickness from zero to tens of meters. Fresh rock occurs below the saprock.

Maraba
Gold mineralization occurs over a strike length of 1.5 km, is elongate in a northwest direction, ranges in width from 50–200 m and has been drill-tested to about 560 m depth. Mineralization at Maraba is interpreted to be located on the east limb of the Merian antiform. The Maraba deposit includes the Kupari sector that is along strike from Maraba and interpreted to be hosted in the same structure but with a non-mineralized gap between the two areas. The Maraba deposit also includes the Maraba South zone to the south of Maraba Main.

Gold mineralization at Maraba occurs with a relatively continuous zone of steeply-dipping sheeted quartz veins with a lenticular core of increased vein density and higher gold grades. Individual veins range in thickness from millimeters to 2-3 m thickness. Vein textures are massive or sugary.

Maraba exhibits the same oxidation states as Merian II: saprolite, saprock and fresh rock. Saprolite thicknesses range from 25 m to as much as 150 m (50% between 60 m to 100 m), saprock thicknesses from zero to tens of meters. In general, the saprolite/saprock and/or saprolite/fresh rock contacts are irregular, but these can be fairly uniform in areas with weathering profiles undisturbed by veins or significant structures. The Maraba vein zone and gold mineralization is open at depth but narrows along strike to the northeast and southeast.

Merian I
The Merian I deposit is located approximately 3 km to the southeast of Merian II. The geology of host rocks and mineralization is similar in style to Merian II but not as well understood. Three small deposits have been drilled fairly extensively. Mineralization at Merian I is not fully delineated and remains open in several directions.

Mineralization at Merian I has a northwest–southeast strike over a known distance of 2.1 km. Mineralization ranges in width from 25 to 200 m and has been drill tested to a depth of approximately 270 m. Based on geophysical interpretation, a northwest-trending fault may run parallel to, and possibly bound, the mineralization on the southwest side of the deposit but the structural control of mineralization is not well understood.

Mineralization is characterized by irregular quartz stockwork zones and moderate to strong white clay development. Unlike Merian II, there are very few breccia bodies. Oxidation and saprolite development are deeper at Merian I than at either Merian II or Maraba; this may be due to more fractured rock and stockwork veins at Merian I.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits202420232022202120202019201820172016
Gold koz  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe524534513104
All production numbers are expressed as metal in doré. ^ Guidance / Forecast.

Operational metrics

Metrics20232022202120202019201820172016
Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe13,968 k tons16,683 k tons13,295 k tons7,207 k tons
Waste  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe36,134 k tons29,868 k tons29,019 k tons7,180 k tons
Total tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe50,102 k tons46,551 k tons42,314 k tons14,387 k tons
Tonnes processed  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe16,203 k tons15,635 k tons15,017 k tons3,169 k tons
Annual processing capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe12 Mt12 Mt12 Mt12 Mt

Production Costs

CommodityUnits20242023202220212020201920182017
Credits (by-product) Gold USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Cash costs (sold) Gold USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 509 / oz   438 / oz   411 / oz  
Total cash costs (sold) Gold USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 565 / oz **   512 / oz **   467 / oz **  
All-in sustaining costs (sold) Gold USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 689 / oz **   627 / oz **   572 / oz **  
^ Guidance / Forecast.
** Net of By-Product.

Financials

Units20242023202220212020201920182017
Capital expenditures (planned) M USD  ....  Subscribe
Capital expenditures M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 56   78   105  
Sustaining costs M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 56   54   37  
Revenue M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Pre-tax Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 331   300   297  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

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EmployeesTotal WorkforceYear
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