Officials at Newcrest Mining have announced major executive-level changes along with production ramp-ups of their Cadia East and Lihir million ounce plant upgrades.

Greg Jackson, COO, will now focus on special projects, according to company officials. Brett Fletcher, EGM Lihir, and Peter Smith, EGM Australia and Indonesian Operations, they added, will now report directly to the CEO.

Meanwhile, Geoff Day has been named EGM for Sustainability and External Affairs, succeeding Stephen Creese, who is retiring. Day has more than 25 years of experience in mining, most recently as CEO of Kagara; he had also served as Newcrest’s executive manager in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

Company officials, at the same time, noted that production at the Cadia East block cave mine began in January and drawbell development is ahead of schedule. To date, 58 drawbells are fired; a further 24 are now drilled in advance of the 75 drawbells planned to be opened by June. The underground panel crusher cave 1 has exceed 1,000 metric tons per hour (mt/h) and was handed to operations this month, enabling higher movement from Cadia East to the Cadia plant.

At Lihir, the new plant was handed over to operations in February and since exceeded expectations; the project was a multi-system expansion; components included a 450 mt/h autoclave and a 70 mt/h oxygen plant while all other major systems are in full operation.