Newcrest's Cadia East Gold Mine Opens
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.
Zimbabwe targets £8.8bn mining industry by 2023
Zimbabwe’s government plans to fast-track exploration, evaluation and digitalisation of selected reserved mining areas under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development as part of wider measures to achieve a £8.8 billion mining industry by 2023, according to a senior government minister.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said other plans include stopping the issuance of special grants in the reserved areas under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development until the exploration and evaluation is complete and a robust value addition program for diamonds is implemented.
Mutsvangwa was speaking at a post-cabinet media briefing on December 15.
She adds that the issuance and renewal of special grants for energy should also be based on the financial and technical capacity to value add all types of coal, as well as for ideal exploration of Coal Bed Methane.
For renewal of special grants, consideration should take into account the period the Special Grant has been held as well as plans with milestones for value addition of the special grant, Mutsvangwa says. She adds that the Zimbabwean government expects gold to drive the mining sector in order to achieve the ambitious target, with the precious metal expected to contribute approximately £2.96 billion to the overall target.
Mining is one of Zimbabwe’s major contributors to its economy, alongside agriculture, which is the mainstay. The mining sector accounted for more than 60 percent of the country’s foreign currency receipts in 2019, and contributed around 16 percent to national Gross Domestic Product, the Chamber of Mines says.
The country’s mining industry is focused on a diverse range of small to medium mining operations. The most important minerals produced in Zimbabwe include gold, asbestos, chromite, coal and base metals.
Zimbabwe expects its economy to expand by 7.4 percent in 2021 from a projected contraction of 4.5 percent this year, due to the effects of drought and the COVID-19 global pandemic.
When presenting the 2021 National Budget in November this year, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, said that the mining sector is projected to rebound by 11 percent next year after surviving a COVID-19 induced shock that saw the sector contract by 4.7 percent in 2020. In September, mining bans in national parks were introduced, according to news agencies.
He added that the National Budget would allocate £1 billion towards the operations of the ministry for planning, promotion and exploration, data capturing, and automation, among other key mining processes.
Other factors necessary for the achievement of the £8.8 billion target include a stable macroeconomic environment, policy consistency, and availability of long-term capital to fund mining projects along the entire mineral value chain, the minister said.
Stopping "illicit financial flows" from gold smuggling is another key issue to address, according to media reports.