Newcrest Mining is planning infrastructure upgrades at its Telfer processing plant as the company targets first production at the Havieron gold-copper joint venture project in Western Australia.
The Telfer processing plant, located 45 kilometres east of Havieron in the Pilbara, is set to be a key player in the project, with Newcrest to transport ore from the mine to Telfer via road trains on an all-weather unsealed road.
Expected plant modifications include magnetic separation within the flotation circuit to reduce pyrrhotite levels in the final copper concentrate and a carbon-in-pulp (CIP) circuit on the flotation tail and cyanide detoxification circuit.
The plant modifications will form part of $529 million of the total capital expenditure Newcrest has projected for Havieron’s development.
Newcrest provided an update on its Havieron pre-feasibility study (PFS) this week, with the company board approving the progression of the project.
Newcrest managing director and chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas said taking the next step towards Havieron was a considerable milestone for the company.
“It is an incredible achievement that, within two years of starting the Havieron drilling program, we have been able to deliver this significant project milestone and demonstrate financial returns that comfortably exceed our hurdle rate, even in this first stage,” he said.
“The pre-feasibility study underpins an initial ore reserve estimate for the upper section of the south-east crescent zone which increases our confidence in achieving first production in the 2024 financial year (FY24) and triggers our entitlement to a cumulative 70 per cent joint venture interest.”
The announcement is independent of any added developments at Newcrest’s Telfer gold-copper mine, which has the potential to further buffer the company’s prospects.
“Notably, the study assumes that Havieron is the sole ore feed for the Telfer plant and does not assume any potential upside from the extension of Telfer’s mine life beyond FY24,” Biswas said.
“We continue to assess the potential for further open pit and underground opportunities at Telfer to extend its life and supplement production from Havieron in FY24 and beyond.”
In August, Newcrest announced its decision to proceed with the next cutback of the Telfer mine in Western Australia to underpin future operations at the site.
Newcrest’s board confirmed a $246 million investment may go ahead at Telfer’s West Dome stage five, requiring no additional permits, licences or approvals.