Newcrest Mining has secured approval to use the old Cadia Hill open pit in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, as a tailings storage facility.
The approval was granted by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and will enable Newcrest to use the first 200m of the open pit for storage purposes.
The decision comes after the company resumed its processing activities at the Cadia mine earlier this month.
Newcrest previously suspended operations at Cadia in March following damage to a tailings dam wall at the site.
The company is currently installing new pipeline infrastructure in order to prepare the open pit for use as a storage facility, which is set to begin next month.
The permit will enable the creation of enough storage capacity to enable the mine to return to full production rates for an approximately 16-month period.
Newcrest plans to begin the repair of the Northern Tailings Facility (NTF), while simultaneously working on obtaining a tailings storage permit for the remaining 300m of the Cadia Hill open pit.
The NSW Resources Regulator initially issued a prohibition notice on depositing tailings in the NTF following the embankment slump.
Newcrest claimed that using the open pit to store tailings would ultimately lead to loss of the existing ore reserve, which is said to contain around 1.5 million ounces (Moz) of gold and 0.13 million tonnes (Mt) of copper, as well as mineral resources comprising approximately 3Moz of gold and 0.27Mt of copper.
However, the company noted that the value gained from utilising Cadia Hill as a long-term tailings storage solution is expected to be much greater than that of the remaining reserves.