Newcrest board approves funding for initial construction activities at Havieron underground gold-copper project in WA

Newcrest Mining Ltd has announced that the Newcrest Board has approved A$146 million (~US$112 million) for the construction of the box cut, exploration decline and associated surface infrastructure at the Havieron Project in Western Australia, which it owns in joint venture with Greatland Gold.

This funding approval follows receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals to commence these construction activities. Newcrest Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Biswas, said: “We continue our journey towards potentially achieving commercial production from the Havieron Project within three years from the commencement of the box cut and exploration decline. Mineralisation remains open in multiple directions outside of Havieron’s initial Inferred Mineral Resource estimate and, with infrastructure in place at our nearby Telfer mine, we are excited about this growth project. Together with the support of our stakeholders, we hope to deliver significant value from the Havieron Project and our other exploration prospects in the Paterson Province.”

Newcrest has received the necessary regulatory approvals to commence key early works activities at the Havieron Project. The early works program includes construction of a box cut, exploration decline and supporting surface infrastructure, including evaporation ponds, explosives magazine, maintenance workshops, fuel facilities, administration building and laydown area. Work is ongoing to finalise the Water Management Plan for the early works program and to progress further approvals and permits which will be required to commence development of any operating underground mine and associated infrastructure at the Havieron Project.

The Havieron Project is operated by Newcrest under a Joint Venture Agreement with Greatland Gold. Newcrest recently released an initial Inferred Mineral Resource estimate for the Havieron Project of 52 Mt @ 2.0 g/t Au and 0.31% Cu for 3.4 Moz Au and 160,000 t Cu, presented on a 100% basis. Mineralisation remains open in multiple directions outside of the initial Inferred Mineral Resource estimate, which indicates the possibility that the resource could continue to grow over time with additional planned drilling activity.

Newcrest also announced on 30 November 2020 that it has met the Stage 3 expenditure requirement (US$45 million) and is entitled to earn an additional 20% joint venture interest, resulting in an overall joint venture interest of 60% (Greatland Gold 40%). Newcrest can earn up to a 70% joint venture interest through total expenditure of US$65 million and the completion of a series of exploration and development milestones in a four-stage farm-in over a six year period that commenced in May 2019.

Newcrest may acquire an additional 5% interest at the end of the farm-in period at fair market value. The Joint Venture Agreement includes tolling principles reflecting the intention of the parties that, subject to a successful exploration program and feasibility study and a positive decision to mine, the resulting joint venture mineralised material will be processed at Newcrest’s Telfer operation which is located 45 km west of the Havieron project. Newcrest expects to complete a Pre-Feasibility Study for the project by late calendar year 2021.