Newcrest Mining has relaunched a key part of the Cadia East underground mine after the gold miner was cleared by New South Wales authorities to resume operations following a damaging earthquake in April.
The Cadia operation, 25km south of Orange, was hit by a large seismic event early Good Friday morning, suspending underground mining activities.
Newcrest reported that remediation and upgrade work required to restart ore extraction from Cadia East’s Panel Cave (PC) 2 has been completed.
“Extraction of ore has recommenced today – this is a test phase and is the first time ore has been extracted from Cadia East since the seismic event on 14 April 2017,” the company announced.
Cadia East was placed under a prohibition notice by the NSW regulator following the earthquake. Newcrest submitted remediation and restart plans for PC1 and PC2, which resulted in the notice being lifted.
During the PC2 test phase, Newcrest plans to monitor the cave response with the cave monitoring system.
“Both PC2 crushers and the conveyor system have been tested and are operational,” Newcrest explained.
“The testing phase is expected to take two to four weeks before Newcrest will be in a position to confirm normal operations from PC2.”
At PC1, Newcrest is continuing remediation and upgrade work on the PC1 extraction level and crusher chamber, which is expected to be completed in first quarter 2018.
Testing of the PC1 crusher and material handling systems has been completed and they are operational, the company added.
Newcrest announced a month after the incident that it expected to restart production at Cadia East by the end of September.
The gold miner’s 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.