PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX- and TSX-listed Newcrest Mining on Friday unveiled a range of cost-saving initiatives at its recently acquired Brucejack mine, in British Colombia, 140 km from its Red Chris operation.
The asset was acquired in a $2.8-billion takeover offer for TSX- and NYSE-listed Pretium Resources (Pretivm) last year.
Newcrest said in its financial results for 2022 that the expected synergy benefits have increased from between C$15-million and C$20-million to about C$20-million to C$30-million a year.
Furthermore, opportunities continue to be evaluated through the synergy process including contract synergies, integrating Brucejack and Red Chris travel logistics, optimising the warehouse and logistics footprint and moving to a common Enterprise Resource Planning system.
Newcrest told shareholders that it expects around half of the recurring synergy value to be realised by the end of 2023 on a run-rate basis, with the remainder by the end of 2024.
Meanwhile, the miner said that through the introduction of its EDGE programme at Brucejack, which aims to drive a culture of innovation, high performance and continuous improvement, the company has identified additional opportunities of C$15-million to C$25-million a year, with improvements in stope turnaround time and more efficient mine operations as the initial focus areas.
Run-rate benefits from this effort are expected to be fully realised by the June 2024 quarter, the miner said.
Additionally, a debottlenecking concept study is underway to investigate Newcrest’s proposal to increase process plant capacity from the currently permitted rate of 3 800 t/d to between 4 500 t/d and 5 000 t/d. The study is anticipated to be completed in the December 2022 quarter, with the permit application expected to be submitted in the March 2023 quarter.
Newcrest said that a range of mine planning and processing scenarios are being evaluated to assess practical options for increasing production. A mine simulation review is currently in progress to assess various debottlenecking scenarios and is expected to increase mining rates from a combination of optimised mine planning and increased shift utilisation. In the mill, crusher modelling is complete with comminution, flotation and gravity modelling in progress with the goal of increasing the mill throughput rate.