Newcrest Mining is set to begin early works on the PC1-2 expansion at the Cadia gold mine in New South Wales, after a pre-feasibility study outlined a 90 per cent boost in production.
The $120 million early works are expected to begin in the December quarter of 2021, before main works occur in the second half of 2022.
The expansion would add around 258 million tonnes of ore to the Cadia resource, containing around 3.5 million ounces of gold and 660,000 tonnes of copper.
Newcrest managing director and chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas said the expansion could pave the continued growth of Cadia.
“The development of the PC1-2 cave is the next step in Cadia’s block caving journey,” Biswas said.
“This project, together with the expansion project currently in progress, is expected to sustain Cadia’s position as one of the largest, lowest-cost and long-life gold mines in the world.”
The cave is expected to have a mine life of around 17 years averaging 15 million tonnes per annum, accounting for about 20 per cent of Cadia’s current ore reserves.
The pre-feasibility study found the updated footprint configuration could de-bottleneck extraction drives, providing the 90 per cent production boost compared to earlier designs.
It also front-ended gold and copper production by targeting higher grades – now set to average 0.5 grams of gold per tonne.
Biswas said his team was looking forward to extending the mine’s life and their tenure at the operation.
“The team at Cadia is passionately committed to building on this world class asset, driving employment and other benefits for the local community and other stakeholders, and maintaining a focus on innovation, continuous improvement and sustainable development,” Biswas said.