Newcrest Mining will proceed with the next cutback of the Telfer gold-copper mine in Western Australia to underpin future operations at the site.
The major miner’s board confirmed the $246 million investment may go ahead at Telfer’s West Dome stage five, with a contract for the works already underway.
Newcrest managing director and chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas said the process was a significant investment for the company.
“This cutback is an investment in Telfer’s future which will ensure the operation is able to continue for at least the next two years,” Biswas said.
“With additional drilling, we believe there is the potential for further mine life extensions in the open pit and the underground beyond this time.”
The cutback will be between West Dome stages two and four, while the company reported positive drilling results between stages two and five.
Fortunately, the cutback will require no additional permits, licences or approvals, meaning the process can begin as early as September 2021.
As Telfer is just 80 kilometres west of Newcrest’s Havieron joint venture, the company will look to incorporate Havieron’s processing capacity into the cutback process into the future.
Biswas said this could allow both assets to maximise their worth at this time.
“With the excellent progress we are making at the nearby Havieron project, our objective is to continue utilising the Telfer plant without interruption as we look to introduce Havieron and other new potential feed sources in the future,” Biswas said.
First ore is expected from the cutback in March 2022.
Newcrest produced 126,000 ounces at Telfer in the June quarter, for a 19 per cent increase on the previous period.
This pushed the mine to 393,164 ounces of gold and 16,278 tonnes of copper for the financial year.