Newcrest Mining has awarded Jacobs Engineering a contract as part of the planned expansion of the Cadia operations in New South Wales, Australia’s top producing gold site in 2018.
Jacobs will provide its underground materials handling services for Cadia’s expansion feasibility study, which will be released during the second half of this year.
Cadia’s expansion is expected to increase its plant capacity to 33 million tonnes per year, with the potential to grow to 35 million tonnes per year.
The processing plant and underground materials handling expansion – where Jacobs will lend its service to – was estimated to cost $58 million.
“During the previous study phase, our mining and minerals experts helped identify a low capital intensity solution as part of an integrated team,” Jacobs Mining, minerals and technology senior vice president Andrew Berryman said.
“By embracing an owners’ mindset and applying our experience in underground mining, materials handling and expansion projects, our integrated approach has the potential to deliver an impressive return on capital for Newcrest.”
Newcrest last year lowered the cost of its plant expansion by 80 per cent to $598 million following the release of Cadia’s pre-feasibility study in August 2018.
Sandeep Biswas, Newcrest managing director, said the project team’s expansion plan had the potential “to deliver an impressive 21 per cent return on capital,” ensuring Cadia remained a Tier 1 producer for a long time to come.
Cadia was the largest gold producer in Australia in 2018 with just over 750,000 ounces, according to data from Surbiton Associates.
Newcrest owns and operates a portfolio of predominantly low cost, long life mines across Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
Jacobs has been supporting Newcrest’s brownfield and greenfield projects across its mining sites for over 20 years, including the Cadia Valley operations.