MELBOURNE, Victoria, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ -
Production ramp-up of major projects in line with expectations
Newcrest advises that the production ramp-up of both Cadia East and
Lihir Million Ounce Plant Upgrade ("MOPU") is progressing in line with
expectations following the recent commissioning of both projects.
The Cadia East panel cave mine commenced commercial production on 1
January 2013 and ongoing drawbell development remains ahead of
schedule. To date, 58 drawbells have been fired and a further 24 have
been drilled and are ready to fire, which is ahead of the 75 drawbells
planned to be opened by the end of June 2013. The primary underground
crusher for panel cave 1 has operated at rates exceeding 1000tph and
has been handed over to Operations this month, enabling higher material
movement from Cadia East and higher grade feed to the Cadia plant.
Development of panel cave 2 continues to plan, with the excavation of
transfer stations and development of extraction drives currently the
At Lihir, the new MOPU plant was handed over to Operations in February
2013. All aspects of the planned ramp up have met or exceeded
expectations. The MOPU project was a complex, multi-system expansion of
the current processing facility. The major components of the new
system (a 450 tonne-per-hour autoclave and a 70 tonne-per-hour oxygen
plant) have performed well and have operated at full design capability.
All other major systems - including crushing, conveying and grinding
circuits - are also in full operation.
Lihir operating at reduced capacity and Gosowong ground conditions
Notwithstanding the pleasing performance of the MOPU plant to date, the
Lihir operation is currently running at reduced production capacity
following a shutdown of autoclave 1, which is part of the original
Lihir plant. A routine thermal scanning program has detected a hot spot
on the outer shell of autoclave 1 and, following inspection, it has
been confirmed that the internal brickwork is damaged.
Newcrest has taken the decision to undertake a complete and permanent
repair to ensure the long term, reliable and safe performance of this
autoclave. This approach is consistent with the Company's current
program to refurbish the older parts of the Lihir plant to ensure high
levels of reliability. It is currently anticipated this repair work
will take between 5 to 7 weeks to complete.
The three other autoclaves at Lihir, and the rest of the processing
plant, continue to operate to capacity.
The other key driver for Newcrest to achieve the previously articulated
production guidance has been to regain access to the high grade ore in
the Kencana mine at Gosowong. Whilst ground conditions have continued
to be difficult and access to high grade face positions has been below
our expectations, Newcrest is now mining from high grade face
Gold production guidance lowered
Primarily as a result of the restricted production capacity at Lihir and
continuing challenges with poor ground conditions at Gosowong, the
Company has determined that the original guidance provided for
financial year 2012/13 gold production is no longer achievable.
Newcrest has reduced financial year 2012/13 gold production guidance to
2.00 to 2.15 million ounces, the mid-point of which is around 10% below
the original minimum guidance level.
Annual copper production guidance of 75,000 to 85,000 tonnes remains
Full year site cost guidance remains unchanged.
Full year capital guidance remains unchanged.
The gold production outlook for the remainder of financial year 2012/13
reflects the following full year expectations:
Lihir production in the range of 620 to 680 thousand ounces.
Gosowong production in the range of 300 to 325 thousand ounces.
Telfer was adversely impacted by the heavy rainfall in February 2013
associated with Cyclone Rusty but is still expected to reach its
original guidance level.
Cadia Valley and Bonikro are expected to deliver within their original
Hidden Valley production in the range of 80 to 90 thousand ounces.
The accountabilities of Greg Jackson, Chief Operating Officer, have been
changed to focus on special projects. Brett Fletcher, EGM Lihir, and
Peter Smith, EGM Australia and Indonesian Operations, now report
directly to the CEO.
Newcrest is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Geoff Day as EGM
Sustainability & External Affairs. He will succeed Stephen Creese, who
- as previously announced - is retiring from his current role of EGM
Corporate Affairs on 1 July 2013. Geoff will be accountable for the
Community and External Affairs activities, as well as Health, Safety,
Environment and Security.
Mr Day has worked in the minerals resources industry for more than 25
years and was most recently Managing Director and Chief Executive
Officer of Kagara Limited. Prior to joining Kagara Limited in February
2011, he was Newcrest's Executive General Manager, Papua New Guinea and
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Greg Robinson, commented:
"We are very pleased to welcome Geoff back to Newcrest as he has a deep
understanding of the industry, the Company and our values, our areas of
operation and our people. He will quickly be able to assume effective
accountability for this critical element of our business".
Mr Robinson acknowledged the significant contribution of Mr Stephen
Creese, stating: "Stephen joined Newcrest in 2009 as General Counsel
and Company Secretary and subsequently as EGM Corporate Affairs. He has
consistently provided outstanding guidance to Management and the Board.
Stephen has shared his considerable industry, commercial and legal
expertise for the benefit of Newcrest and he has been a valuable member
of the Newcrest Management team. On behalf of the Board I thank him for
his enduring contribution and wish him all the best for his retirement
from 1 July 2013".
SOURCE: Newcrest Mining Limited
For further information:
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T: +1 212 351 5064
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T: +61 3 9522 5316
T: +61 3 9522 5593
This information is available on the Company website at www.newcrest.com.au and on www.sedar.com.