(Bloomberg) -- Newmont Corp., the world’s biggest gold producer, plans to invest a total of $540 million to extend the life of a key mine in Argentina, the government said.

The project will extend the Cerro Negro operations in Santa Cruz province to 2034, the government said in an emailed statement Wednesday. The Denver-based company later confirmed the investment, saying it was expected to boost production to more than 350,000 ounces from 2024 and provide a platform for further exploration and additional expansions.

“Newmont remains committed to expanding the Cerro Negro mining operation in Argentina with the development of the Marianas and Eastern districts,” the company said in a statement. Future development capital costs, not including what it has already committed to the project, are estimated to be $350 million and $450 million, it added.

Last year, Cerro Negro generated more than $500 million in exports, making it the most important mine in Santa Cruz. It’s comprised of three underground operating mines and two deposits being developed, as well as five other deposits.

While Argentina’s protectionist bent and politically volatile past still make it a tricky place to do business, the cash-strapped nation is looking at ways to boost the appeal of developing more of its vast deposits and attract more hard currency.

(Updates with Newmont statement in second, third paragraphs)

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