Cadia's costs come in lower for Newcrest

Newcrest Mining, which has released its pre-feasibility study findings for the Cadia expansion project and has green-lighted progress into the feasibility phase, said costs for the Australian gold project have come in lower than previously anticipated, including significant savings for the project’s plant

Staff Reporter
 Newcrest's Cadia East mine in Australia

Newcrest's Cadia East mine in Australia

The miner said it has estimated total capital expenditure for Cadia's growth is now A$598 million (US$439 million). Capex for it and the plant expansion, totalling A$58 million for the facility and underground materials handling, has come in about A$252 million lower than estimated.

Most of the expense will be for the development of the next macro block, PC2-3, which on its own will be A$540 million.

"Two years ago we set out to expand Cadia to 32 million tonnes [annually] for an expected cost of A$310 million; today we announce expanding the plant to 33 million tonnes [annually] for A$58 million with potential to grow to 35mt/y," managing director and CEO Sandeep Biswas said, noting that, in addition to the A$252 million in savings, throughput capacity will rise by one million tonnes each year.

"The mining rate profile analysis showed that a long-term sustainable mining rate of 33mt/y is achievable and that 35mt/y represents the upper limit of Cadia's caving footprint capability until approximately [fiscal year 2027], when PC1-2 production ramps up."

The pre-feasibility study offers different scenarios for Cadia's expansion, including a capacity boost to its plant which, to reliably expand beyond 35mt/y, Newcrest said would require the addition of a third concentrator - and spike its capex by about A$440 million overall.

Additionally, it outlined, the facility would require a new secondary crushing circuit for the concentrator one million circuit, a crusher and secondary screen feed, pebble crusher and 1.5MW ball mill.

Production-wise, the assessed cases range between 30mt/y to 40mt/y.

Newcrest said it will release its feasibility study findings for the expansion in the first half of 2020.

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