Newcrest Mining’s Cadia East Mine in NSW is a finalist in the 5th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for achieving what is said to be the best advance rate worldwide for a screen supported decline in a calendar month.
The project’s four panel crews completed 311 m of development in May, passing a new advance-rate milestone in the proverbial home stretch of the project’s pre-feasibility decline development.
The next best in Australia is 270 m comprised of 210 m of decline.
The mine’s project manager Stephen Powell credited the milestone to a motivated and hard working crew, good rock and a great cultural environment in terms of people living locally.
Newcrest Mining cut the Cadia East decline portal in May 2005 and proceeded to develop the decline for the next three years in what is a precursor to a full feasibility study set to get underway later this year.
All going to plan, Cadia East could become Australia’s biggest underground mine.
The mine will implement an Australian first caving operation in order to achieve its proposed annual ore production rate of 24 Mtpa.
Establishing an access decline to obtain vital technical information and bulk metallurgical samples provided Newcrest with the opportunity to test run a rapid development approach which combines leading-edge tunnelling methodology and mine-specific equipment and technology.
Long-round drilling, high-powered drifters, automated drilling, emulsion charging and high-capacity load-haul are key elements of the Cadia East rapid development approach. The mine is currently full steam ahead.