Newcrest Mining Ltd. has approved the Cadia PC1-2 prefeasibility study, which enabled the commencement of the feasibility stage and early works program. The study updates and defines a significant portion of Cadia’s future mine plan, with the development of PC1-2 accounting for about 20% of Cadia’s current ore reserves. The early works program will establish critical infrastructure in parallel with the feasibility study, before the commencement of the main works program in the second half of 2022.

About $90 million of funding has been approved for the early works program, which is expected to commence in the December quarter.

The study estimated a 17-year mine life from first production, at an average of 15 million metric tons per year (mt/y). Total ore production of 258 million mt producing 3.5 million ounces (oz) of gold and 660,00 metric tons (mt) of copper.

“The development of the PC1-2 cave is the next step in Cadia’s block caving journey,” Newcrest Managing Director and CEO Sandeep Biswas said. “The study underpins an optimized mine design, which we expect will deliver higher gold and copper grades and enable the deferral of capital expenditure in the medium term.”

Biswas said the planned expansion is expected to sustain Cadia’s position as one of the largest, lowest cost and long-life gold mines in the world.