Newcrest drops gold production for future performance


The Cadia site. Image: Newcrest Mining.

Newcrest Mining is confident of delivering a strong first half of 2020, despite finishing the previous half with a 12 per cent reduction in gold output.

Company managing director Sandeep Biswas described the period as “one in which we invested for the future.”

During October, Newcrest acquired a 70 per cent stake in the Red Chris mine in British Columbia, Canada and approved the expansion of the Cadia mine in New South Wales.

“We completed the acquisition of 70 per cent of Red Chris, a mine with a potential Tier 1 orebody in Canada,” Biswas said.

“At Cadia we approved to execution the first two stages of our expansion of this Tier 1 multi-decade mine.”

Newcrest produced 411,452 ounces of gold at Cadia in the six months ending December last year, which was 9 per cent lower than the prior period.

This was driven by a 5 per cent decrease in the volume of material milled and in the grade milled.

Newcrest attributed this to the extended downtime of the concentrator semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill for preventative maintenance.

The lower grade was in line with expectations due to this maintenance, according to Newcrest.

At the Telfer mine in the Great Sandy Desert, Western Australia, Newcrest experienced a 4 per cent improved recovery but 15 per cent less production.

A deliberate change in mill operating strategy to a reduced rate was the main cause of this drop, which was offset by a higher head grade and recovery.

Newcrest also plans to continue drilling to expand gold-copper mineralisation at the Havieron project, which is 45 kilometres east of Telfer.

The company intends to drill 20,000 to 30,000 metres in the next half year to support potential resource estimate delivery by the end of 2020.

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