Cadia jobs on hold after dam wall breach

Northern Tailings Dam.

Northern Tailings Dam.

Newcrest Mining Limited have updated their workforce contingencies following the failure of the northern tailings dam wall last Friday night.

Concerns and rumours have been circulating within the Blayney community since the collapse, with stories of mine employees being told on a day to day basis whether or not they were needed.

Cadia’s general manager, Peter Sharpe, announced today that as mining and processing operations are currently suspended, sections of the workforce were being redeployed to deal with containment and recovery activities.

“Permanent and embedded contract operational workers at Cadia will continue to receive their full pay and entitlements until further notice,” he wrote in a statement to the Blayney Chronicle.

“Those not currently engaged in recovery activities will remain on call to assist as needed.”

Embedded contract operational workers include those employed by agencies such as Pybar.

Mr Sharpe said that the company will provide regular updates as to the reopening of the mine.

“At this stage, Cadia does not have a specific time-frame for the recommencement of mining and processing operations,” he stated.

With the Cadia mine producing about 60 per cent of Newcrest’s earnings, the importance of finding a long-term solution is of utmost importance to the company.

The Newcrest share price has taken a hit since the breach was announced down from $22.02 on the day of the breach to $19.96 on March 14.

Blayney Shire Council general manager Rebecca Ryan said that council was confident that Newcrest had the situation under control, and was glad that roads surrounding the dam had reopened.

“We have confidence in their processes and they’ve done a great job in keeping everyone informed,” she said.