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Seismic event shuts Newcrest’s Cadia gold mine

Copper-gold miner Newcrest has warned investors that its Cadia operation in central west NSW will not meet its FY17 guidance, after a seismic event last week shut the mine for an undisclosed period.

Surface operations remain underway at Cadia, 25 kilometres south of Orange, but inspections continue underground this week, after what is described as “a large seismic event” occurred in the region at around 2.30 in the morning on Friday, April 14.

Panel Cave 1 at the mine is still being assessed, but Newcrest said PC1 “appears to have sustained some damage to the access ways”.

As a result, crews are using a remote-operated camera to perform inspections in PC1 “over the course of the next few days,” before personnel will be allowed back inside.

An assessment of Panel Cave 2 found minimal damage to ground support in its extraction level and crusher chambers.

Assessment of fixed plant infrastructure is also underway, with PC2’s crushers, conveyor system and transfer stations reported to have sustained minimal damage, but work still underway in PC1.

Newcrest did not offer a date for when the underground operations may restart, but said the mine was not expected to meet its production guidance in FY17.

Since the seismic event Cadia’s surface-level plant has been processing the mine’s Cadia East stockpile material, but that material was projected to be exhausted by the end of Tuesday, April 18.

After the Cadia East stockpile Newcrest has “substantial low-grade” stockpiles left for the plant to process.

Managing director and chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas said safety remained the priority for Newcrest.

“The safety of our people involved in the assessment of damage and remediation activity is paramount, as is the safety of our workforce generally, as we decide when and how mining operations recommence,” Biswas said.

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