Cadia East gold mine, Newcrest Mining’s new operation in the Central West region of Australia, has officially opened. The new mine is the largest underground operation in the country; it will also be the largest hard rock underground mine in the region, and one of the biggest in the world.
The site has been developed as a larger underground panel cave gold mine and is around three quarters of a mile underground. Newcrest spent around $2 billion to both develop this first panel cave and expand Cadia’s processing plant to handle the future influx of excess material. The company is expecting to generate around 1,900 jobs (both directly and indirectly related to the site) in the region.
CEO Greg Robinson was on hand at the opening, optimistic about the impact the mine will have on the region.
“Cadia East is a large, long life asset and a cornerstone of our company’s strategy,” commented Robinson. “It is one of the largest gold and copper deposits in the world, with 2.8 billion ton of ore estimated to contain 37 million ounces of gold and 7.5 million ton of copper. With an approved mine life of 21 years, Cadia East will deliver significant economic benefits to the local community, the workforce and suppliers.”
The commercial production from Panel Cave One started in January of 2013, and the development of the second panel cave is currently underway. Panel Two is still under construction, and will be in commercial production in the 2015 financial year. Commissioning of Panel Cave Two’s underground west crusher has been completed.