Newcrest’s Cadia East underground gold mine [PHOTOS]

Newcrest officially opened its brand new Cadia East underground gold mine yesterday, and Australian Mining was on site with a camera in hand to capture the unveiling of the $2 billion project.

Commencing commercial production in January 2013, Cadia East is the newest, and largest gold mine in Australia.

Hosting a mineral resource of 2.8 billion tonnes made up of 37 million ounces of gold and 7.5 million tonnes of copper, the mine will have a life of 30 years and support an expected 1900 direct and indirect jobs.

With Panel Cave 1 in operation and Panel Cave 2 schedule to be finished by 2015, a ramp-up of production will see Cadia East produce 26mtpa by around 2017.

This will take the Cadia Valley operations, which includes Cadia East and Ridgeway mines from 447,000 ounces a year to 700,000 ounces a year.

But the impressive numbers don’t stop there:

49 kilometres – the length of underground tunnelling that was completed to build the mine.

1.2 km – the distance from surface to Panel Cave 1.

1000 – number of environmental conditions placed on CVO.

300 – number of drawbells created on the Panel Cave extraction levels at Cadia East.

21 minutes- the time it takes for ore to reach the surface from 1.2 km underground.

5 metres – the distance the conveyor belt travels in one second.

29,000 tonnes – amount of ore Panel Cave 1 crusher processes per day (currently).

75 per cent – the amount of CVO concentrate shipped overseas.

25 per cent- the amount ore turned into gold bars.

Below are photos of Cadia East underground mine, as well as surface processing facilities.

First ore in the Cadia East gyratory crusher

The Cadia East underground maintenance workshop.

Panel Cave 1 underground workshop

The Coarse Ore Stockpile at CVO

Conveyor system at CVO.

Both semi-autogenous grinding and high pressure grinding rolls are used at Cadia East.

Flotation cells at work.

The Site Asset Operation Centre at CVO provides 24 hour communication to all areas of the site. It is from this room operators monitor equipment amd machinery located both on surface on underground.

Operators communicate with personnel via radio and phone, and monitor work being undertaken across the site. The centre is also home to CVO's semi-automated machinery which includes rock breakers and boggers.

Craig Jones – Newcrest's Executive General Manager – Australian Operations & Projects – shows us around site.

What every miner wants to see; healthy looking stock piles.

Statue commemorating the official opening of Cadia East. Notice he is a new-age miner complete with a tablet computer.

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