Newcrest Mining will proceed with the West Dome Stage 5 cutback at its Telfer gold-copper operation in Western Australia.
The cutback underpins the continuity of operations at Telfer, with further mine life extension opportunities to be assessed within the open pit and underground, the miner said.
Telfer is well positioned in the Paterson Province, with its existing infrastructure and processing capacity providing benefits to the nearby Havieron project (operated by Newcrest under a joint venture agreement with Greatland Gold) and Newcrest’s other exploration projects in the region. Earlier this year, the Newcrest Board approved funding for the construction of the box cut, exploration decline and associated surface infrastructure at Havieron.
The Newcrest Board has now approved A$246 million ($182 million) of funding for the Telfer cutback and Newcrest has entered into a contract for the works to be undertaken. The cutback is located between West Dome Stage 2 and West Dome Stage 4, both of which will continue to be mined in conjunction with Stage 5.
Drilling in the area between the Stage 2 and Stage 5 boundary has also returned positive results to date, providing further opportunities to extend the life of the West Dome, Newcrest said.
No additional permits, licences or regulatory approvals will be required for the cutback.
Newcrest Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Biswas, said “This cutback is an investment in Telfer’s future which will ensure the operation is able to continue for at least the next two years. With additional drilling, we believe there is the potential for further mine life extensions in the open pit and the underground beyond this time. With the excellent progress we are making at the nearby Havieron project, our objective is to continue utilising the Telfer plant without interruption as we look to introduce Havieron and other new potential feed sources in the future.”
Production stripping for the Stage 5 cutback will commence in September, with first ore production expected to be delivered to the Telfer mill in March 2022.
Telfer produced 185,000 oz of gold, 5,000 t of copper and 52,000 oz of silver in the six months to June 30.