Newcrest to relaunch operations at earthquake-hit Cadia East by September

Newcrest's Cadia East mine

Newcrest Mining expects to restart production at the earthquake-hit Cadia East mine in New South Wales by the end of September.

The Cadia operation, 25km south of Orange, was hit by a large seismic event early Good Friday morning, suspending underground mining activities.

A prohibition notice was issued at the site by NSW authorities following the incident, and has remained in place since.

In its latest update following the incident, Newcrest reported that damage to the Cadia East underground mine infrastructure was minimal, with no permanent damage.

It said rehabilitation work and upgrades to ground support was under way at Cadia East’s Panel Cave (PC) 1 and was well advanced at Panel Cave 2.

Production at both panel caves is expected to be relaunched in the first quarter of the 2018 financial year, if the prohibition notice is lifted.

“Newcrest has worked closely with the NSW Mining Inspectorate on the rehabilitation and support plans for PC1 and PC2,” the company said.

“The majority of work undertaken relates to increasing the dynamic ground support capacity around known fault structures and rehabilitating ground support in areas impacted by the seismic event.”

Newcrest estimates that the cost of the rehabilitation and upgrades will be about $25 million.

While Newcrest forecasts lower production from Cadia East in first quarter 2018, it does not expect the seismic event to significantly impact output beyond the 2017 financial year.

Newcrest’s gold production guidance for the 2018 financial year is between 650,000-750,000 ounces.

In the 2016 financial year, the Cadia operation produced 668,773 ounces of gold and 64,130 tonnes of copper.