Newcrest Mining has been approved to further expand the processing capacity of Cadia gold mine in New South Wales, with tailings storage repairs also signed off.
The New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry & Environment (DPIE) green lit the processing expansion, increasing the mine’s potential from 32 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 35Mtpa.
The Newcrest Board previously approved the two-stage expansion of Cadia’s panel caves 1-2 (PC1-2) with an early works program currently underway.
The expansion is expected to boost production intensity by about 90 per cent as PC1-2 accounts for about one fifth of Cadia’s current ore reserves.
The modification to Cadia’s operations also involves the revised footprint and repair of a slumped section at its Northern Tailings Storage Facility (NTSF).
Newcrest will also transition its Southern Tailings Storage Facility from an upstream design to a centreline lift design.
While the government has approved the modification, Newcrest stated the approval contained several caveats.
“The modification is subject to conditions, including Newcrest commissioning an independent audit report to the satisfaction of the DPIE secretary in relation to Newcrest’s approach to managing and minimising the off-site air quality impacts of the project,” the company stated.
Newcrest is currently designing the remediation of the NTSF and expects the final project to cost less than $100 million.
In August, as the PC1-2 expansion was approved by the Newcrest Board, managing director Sandeep Biswas was bullish about what the expansion could do for the business.
“The team at Cadia is passionately committed to building on this world class asset, driving employment and other benefits for the local community and other stakeholders, and maintaining a focus on innovation, continuous improvement and sustainable development,” Biswas said.