The Cadia East gold mine, Australia’s largest new underground operation, has officially opened.
The operation is part of Newcrest Mining’s wider Cadia Valley Operations near Orange.
Cadia East has been developed as a large underground panel cave gold mine, and is the first of its type in the country.
One it reaches full operational capacity it will also be the largest hard rock underground mine in the country, and one of the largest in the world.
Newcrest has invested around $2 billion to develop the first panel cave and the expansion of Cadia’s processing plant to process the excess material.
Commercial production from panel cave 1 commenced in January last year, with the development of the second panel cave currently underway, while the commissioning on Panel Cave 2’s underground west crusher has been completed.
Panel 2 is still in construction and will be in commercial production in the 2015 financial year.
Speaking at the opening today Newcrest CEO Greg Robinson said this mine marked a significant milestone for Newcrest, the Cadia Valley Operations, and the Central West region.
“Cadia East is a large, long life asset and a cornerstone of our company’s strategy; it is one of the largest gold and copper deposits in the world, with 2.8 billion tonnes of ore estimated to contain 37 million ounce of gold and 7.5 million tonnes of copper,” Robinson said.
“With an approved mine life of 21 years, Cadia East will deliver significant economic benefits to the local community, the workforce, and suppliers.”
The operation is more than 1.2 kilometres underground.
It will generate around 1900 direct and indirect jobs in the region.
Australian Mining is currently at the opening and will bring you the pics and info from the mine.