Newcrest Mining has awarded a contract to the Jacobs Engineering Group to provide underground materials handling services as part of the expansion feasibility study at the Cadia gold mine in New South Wales, Australia.

Jacobs has been supporting Newcrest’s brownfield and greenfield projects across its mining sites for more than 20 years and builds on the companies’ work at Newcrest’s operations in the Cadia Valley.

Mining, minerals and technology senior vice-president at Jacobs Andrew Berryman said: “During the previous study phase, our mining and minerals experts helped identify a low capital intensity solution as part of an integrated team.

“By embracing an owners’ mindset and applying our experience in underground mining, materials handling and expansion projects, our integrated approach has the potential to deliver an impressive return on capital for Newcrest.”

In August last year, Newcrest said that an estimated total capital expenditure of $598m will be required for the expansion of Cadia gold operations, according to a pre-feasibility study.

The study evaluated various options for expansion from the mine’s current 30mtpa output, including a significant expansion to 40Mtpa, and a lower-cost expansion that would increase production to between 33Mpta and 35Mtpa.

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“Our integrated approach has the potential to deliver an impressive return on capital for Newcrest.”

Furthermore, the study recommended the installation of a new secondary crushing circuit for the project’s Concentrator 1 milling circuit as part of the proposed expansion.

Newcrest owns and operates a portfolio of long-life mines and a pipeline of brownfield and greenfield exploration projects.

The company also owns operating mines in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.