The board of Newcrest has approved funding for the cutback for the amount of A$246 million (US$182 million). The company stated that this expansion underpins the continuity of operations at the project, and it will assess further opportunities to extend operations within the open-pit and underground.
The cutback is situated between West Dome Stage 2 and West Dome Stage 4. Mining of both areas will continue alongside Stage 5. Newcrest has engaged a contractor to undertake the works.
The company also reported that positive results have been returned from drilling in the area between the Stage 2 and Stage 5 boundary, which could provide additional opportunities to extend the life of the West Dome.
Newcrest will not need any further permits, licences or regulatory approvals for the planned cutback. The company stated that it does not intend to start any further gold price hedging related to the cutback investment.
Newcrest noted that Telfer is strategically well located in the Paterson Province, which is recognised as a world-class gold, copper and polymetallic mining district. Telfer's existing infrastructure and processing capacity also provides benefits to the nearby Havieron project, which is operated by a joint venture comprising Newcrest and Greatland Gold, as well as other exploration projects in the region owned by Newcrest.
Sandeep Biswas, managing director and CEO of Newcrest, said: "This cutback is an investment in Telfer's future which will ensure the operation is able to continue for at least the next two years. With additional drilling, we believe there is the potential for further mine life extensions in the open pit and the underground beyond this time. With the excellent progress we are making at the nearby Havieron project, our objective is to continue utilising the Telfer plant without interruption as we look to introduce Havieron and other new potential feed sources in the future."
In September, production stripping will begin for the Stage 5 cutback. The company expects the first ore production to be delivered to the Telfer mill in March 2022.