Newcrest Mining plans to restart mining at the Cadia East underground gold mine in New South Wales today following the tailings dam incident that suspended operations at the site this month.
The company will resume mining from Cadia East’s Panel Cave 1 before progressively restarting operations at Panel Cave 2.
Newcrest, the largest Australian-based gold miner, identified a breakthrough of material at Cadia’s northern tailings dam on March 9, forcing it to suspend operations.
The company described the incident as a “limited breakthrough” of tailings material, which it was able to contain within the operation’s southern tailings dam.
Processing at the site remains suspended as Newcrest continues to investigate alternative tailings locations.
The gold miner reported last week that Cadia could be out of action for anywhere between one to six months while it assesses a suitable method for the resumption. It will stockpile ore from Cadia East at the surface until processing restarts.
Newcrest said work was being undertaken on multiple recovery scenarios for the restart of processing, including using the old Cadia Hill open pit as a tailings location.
“Newcrest continues to work with the NSW regulators on permitting the Cadia Hill open pit tailings option and has commenced procurement of some of the necessary equipment to allow this possibility to be utilised if approved,” the gold miner said in an statement.
“A prohibition noticed issued on depositing tailings in the northern tailings facility remains in place.”
The NSW regulators have been consulted on Newcrest’s plan to restart mining today, the company added.
Newcrest has confirmed that its gold production guidance for the 2018 financial year will be missed due to the incident, but was today still unable to update the market on a new forecast.