The $175m stage two expansion of the Cadia project involves upgrading a second coarse ore flotation circuit


The proposed new Coarse Ore Flotation building. (Credit: Newcrest Mining Limited)

The board of Australia-based Newcrest Mining has approved the stage 2 expansion of the Cadia gold mine in New South Wales and the Lihir mine’s front-end recovery project in Papua New Guinea.

Estimated to cost $175m, stage two of the Cadia expansion project involves upgrading a second coarse ore flotation circuit concentrator one and equipment upgrades in concentrator two.

The upgrades are expected to further expand plant capacity from 33 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 35mtpa.

Planned to be completed in late 2022, these additions are also expected to improve the life of mine (LOM) gold and copper recoveries by 3.5% and 2.7% respectively.

Newcrest Mining is already executing the stage 1 to maintain production continuity at Cadia through the development of PC2-3 and increase the processing capacity to 33mtpa.

Lihir mine’s front-end recovery project aims to increase LOM gold recoveries

The Lihir mine front-end recovery project, which is estimated to cost $61m, involves the installation of flash flotation and additional cyclone capacity to increase the LOM gold recoveries.

It also includes cyclone efficiency upgrades to improve grinding classification while reducing gold losses through the flotation circuits.

Newcrest managing director and CEO Sandeep Biswas said: “It is an exciting time at Newcrest as we advance our growth pipeline with both of these projects adding value to our existing large scale, long life operations while we pursue the development of Red Chris and Havieron and exploration opportunities globally.

“Cadia is one of the largest, lowest cost, long life gold mines in the world due to the application of Newcrest’s industry leading block caving technology, and this investment helps Cadia maintain this industry leading position.

“The Lihir Front End Recovery Project is expected to deliver additional production through an improvement in gold recoveries over the life of the mine. Lihir’s long reserve life makes this improvement in gold recoveries particularly valuable to our shareholders.”

The Cadia mine comprises the Cadia East underground panel cave mine and the Ridgeway underground mine, which is currently in care and maintenance.

In July 2020, Newcrest Mining said it was considering options for its 13.75% stake in Australian gold and copper mining company SolGold.