Newcrest has received approval from the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Planning and Environment to use the first 200m of the old Cadia Hill open pit as a tailings storage facility. Newcrest is currently installing the pipeline infrastructure to enable this to occur, with utilisation of the open pit as a storage facility expected to commence in the first week of May 2018.
In conjunction with the Southern Tailings Facility, this permit will create sufficient storage capacity to enable Cadia to progressively return to full production rates for approximately 16 months. In this period, Newcrest will look to define and commence the optimal repair solution for the Northern Tailings Facility (NTF) while simultaneously working on permitting the remaining 300m of the Cadia Hill open pit for tailings storage.
Newcrest continues to review and determine the cause of the NTF embankment slump. A prohibition notice issued by the NSW Resources Regulator on depositing tailings in the NTF remains in place.
Guidance for Cadia will be updated in the March 2018 Quarterly Report which is scheduled to be released on 26 April 2018.
As a result of using the Cadia Hill open pit as a tailing storage facility, it is likely, subject to further study, that the existing Ore Reserve containing approximately 1.5Moz gold and 0.13 Mt of copper and Mineral Resource containing approximately 3.0Moz of gold and 0.27Mt of copper will ultimately be forgone. Mineral Resources are reported inclusive of Ore Reserves. Newcrest has determined that the value of Cadia Hill as a long-term tailings storage solution is much greater than the economic value of the remaining Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources of the Cadia Hill open pit.