Newcrest will dump tailings into the old Cadia Hill open pit, buying itself roughly 16 months of production capacity while it addresses a collapsed embankment at Cadia’s northern tailings facility.
Mining and processing operations were halted for over a fortnight at Cadia after a breach of the mine’s northern tailings facility wall on March 9, which resulted in some material flow down into the adjacent southern tailings facility.
Newcrest recommenced mining operations at Cadia on March 27, but processing remained on hold until a tailings solution could be found.
The miner announced on April 23 it has received approval from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to use the first 200 metres of the old Cadia Hill open pit as a tailings storage facility.
Newcrest is currently building pipeline infrastructure needed to deposit tailings into the old Cadia Hill pit, and says the operation is on track to restart production in the first week of May.
“In conjunction with the Southern Tailings Facility, this permit will create sufficient storage capacity to progressively return to full production rates for approximately 16 months,” the miner explained.
During that time, Newcrest plans to address repair plans for the northern tailings facility wall, while also working towards a permit to use another 300 metres of the Cadia Hill open pit for tailings storage.
The miner on April 26 cut its full year gold output guidance to 2.25-2.35 million ounces, down from 2.4-2.7 million ounces, due to the Cadia tailings dam breach.
“Newcrest continues to review and determine the cause of the Northern Tailings Facility embankment slump,” the company told the ASX. “A prohibition notice issued by the NSW Resources Regulator on depositing tailings in the NTF remains in place.”