PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The board of gold miner Newcrest Mining has approved A$236-million worth of capital projects at its Cadia and Lihir operations.
The company on Friday announced the approval of a A$175-million spend on the Cadia Stage 2 expansion project, in New South Wales, which would see the addition of a second coarse ore flotation circuit installed in the Concentrator 1, as well as equipment upgrades in Concentrator 2.
The Stage 2 expansion would result in plant capacity increasing from 33-million tonnes a year to 35-million tonnes a year, with life-of-mine (LoM) gold recoveries increasing by 3.5% and copper recoveries increasing by 2.7%.
All-in sustaining costs at Cadia are also expected to reduce by some A$22/oz.
“Stage 2 of the Cadia expansion project increased plant capacity to 35-million tonnes a year, enabling an increase in gold and copper recoveries, an increase in production and a reduction in unit costs. Cadia is one of the largest, lowest cost, long life gold mines in the world due to the application of Newcrest’s industry-leading block caving technology, and this investment helps Cadia maintain this industry leading position,” said MD and CEO Sandeep Biswas.
Meanwhile, the Newcrest board has also approved a A$61-million spend at the Lihir operation, in Papua New Guinea, which will see the installation of flash flotation and additional cyclone capacity, as well as cyclone efficiency upgrades, to improve grinding classification and reduce gold losses through the flotation circuit.
Gold recoveries at Lihir are expected to increase by 1.2%, with incremental LoM gold production increasing by 244 000 oz.
“The Lihir front-end recovery project is expected to deliver additional production through an improvement in gold recoveries over the life of the mine. Lihir’s long reserve life makes this improvement in gold recoveries particularly valuable to our shareholders,” Biswas said on Friday.
Stage 1 and 2 of the Cadia expansion project are expected to generate direct employment of some 860 people at peak, while the Lihir front-end recovery project will generate employment of some 150 staff at its peak.
“Both projects demonstrate how we are using innovation and our technical expertise to continually improve our operations. With a strong balance sheet, low cost production, a range of organic growth options and a strong exploration portfolio, Newcrest is well positioned for the future,” Biswas said.