Newcrest Mining intends to start the development of a decline at the Havieron project in Western Australia by early next year.
The company expects commercial production to be achieved within two to three years from the commencement of this decline.
Newcrest states it is aiming to accelerate its exploration and development timetable at Havieron following the receipt of its mining lease.
Studies are under way to investigate selective and bulk underground mining options for Havieron.
The project is part of a farm-in agreement between Newcrest (40 per cent) and Greatland Gold (60 per cent), where the former can earn up to a 70 per cent interest by spending $US65 million ($90.5 million) and completing exploration and development milestones across six years.
As an operator, Newcrest will continue its drilling campaign at Havieron to deliver an initial resource estimate in the December quarter.
Aside from the Havieron project, Newcrest has two drilling programs under way at the Red Chris mine in Canada, the first of which is designed to support future studies for underground block cave mining.
“Newcrest has a history of delivering value through the application of technology and innovation,” Newcrest managing director and chief executive Sandeep Biswas said.
“Our current leading position within the gold industry in block cave mining is a direct outcome of this.
“As the world’s remaining ore deposits become deeper and lower grade, block cave mining with its high productivity and low operating costs has become the underground mining method of choice when the orebody warrants it.”
Newcrest holds a positive outlook on the gold prices, guiding the company to increase its total dividends to shareholders to $US25 cents during the 2020 financial year.