Newcrest resumes production at Cadia East following earthquake

Newcrest Mining is producing again at a key section of the Cadia East underground gold mine that was shut down following an earthquake in April.

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

Australia’s largest gold-focused miner has completed a “test and response phase” at Cadia East’s Panel Cave 2 (PC2), it reported today.

According to Newcrest, this stage of the restart process involved drawing around 480,000 tonnes of ore, while monitoring ongoing seismic response levels to ensure they remain within expected range and limits.

“The ore drawn during this phase of work has been transported via the underground conveyor system to surface where it was subsequently processed,” Newcrest outlined in an ASX announcement.

“Accordingly, PC2 is now back in production.”

Newcrest is continuing remediation and upgrade work in Panel Cave 1 (PC1), which remains under a prohibition notice. However, the company is on track to restart mining from PC1 this quarter.

In May, Newcrest estimated the cost of rehabilitation and upgrades at Cadia East would be around $25 million.

Newcrest also forecasted lower production from Cadia East in first quarter 2018, but did not expect the seismic event to significantly impact output beyond the 2017 financial year.

The Cadia operation produced 668,773 ounces of gold and 64,130 tonnes of copper in the 2016 financial year. Newcrest’s gold production guidance at Cadia for the 2018 financial year is between 650,000-750,000 ounces.

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