$33 million repairs: Cadia’s costly clean up after Good Friday earthquake

REPAIR BILL: Newcrest Limited said Cadia’s processing plant has been put on hold as the company focuses on repair work to restart production following the Good Friday earthquake. Photo: FILE PHOTO

REPAIR BILL: Newcrest Limited said Cadia’s processing plant has been put on hold as the company focuses on repair work to restart production following the Good Friday earthquake. Photo: FILE PHOTO

Newcrest Limited has estimated it will cost $33 million to repair damage to the Cadia mine after an earthquake on April 14.

The earthquake damaged conveyor belts and crushing machines in the mine.

Following the quake, production was halted in Cadia’s two panel caves.

“The Ridgeway sub-level cave has a material handling system which can deliver ore directly to the processing plant, reducing the need for material to be trucked,” the company said in a statement.

A feasibility study into the expansion of Cadia’s processing plant has been put on hold as the company focuses on work to re-start production, which is expected between July and September.

The earthquake may have registered 4.3 on the Richter scale, but instruments in the mine only registered a magnitude of 3.1.

Newcrest said the mine’s seismic systems detected a fault slip 200 metres from the southern end of panel cave one.

It’s great that there have been no injuries, and I am proud of how our people have rallied around following the seismic event. - Newcrest Limited CEO Sandeep Biswas

The company said they were working with geotechnical experts to understand the impact.

Newcrest has been working to repair and improve the ground support in the mine to prevent future seismic events causing damage and halting production.

The mine’s processing plant has been working through 65,000 tonnes of stockpiled ore each day. 

Another 20 million tonnes remains in the stockpile.

“It’s great that there have been no injuries, and I am proud of how our people have rallied around following the seismic event,” Newcrest Limited’s CEO Sandeep Biswas said.

“Subject to approval by the regulator, we are working to safely get Cadia East back into production in the first quarter of the next financial year.”

On April 18 Newcrest said it no longer expects Cadia Valley Operations to meet its production targets for the financial year.

Newcrest produced 1.23 million ounces of gold between July and December, 2017, putting it on track to meet its full-year production target of between 2.35 million and 2.6 million ounces, but the earthquake put paid to that.

“Cadia is not expected to meet its production guidance for the 2017 financial year,” a statement read.

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