Australia’s Newcrest Mining has closed the acquisition of Pretium Resources, which owns the Brucejack mine in the Golden Triangle region of British Columbia, Canada.

Last November, Newcrest Mining had agreed to acquire the common shares it did not own in Pretium for $2.8bn (C$3.5bn) through a Canadian plan of arrangement.

A high-grade gold mine, Brucejack commenced commercial production in 2017.

Newcrest managing director and CEO Sandeep Biswas said: “Through this acquisition and the continued development of our outstanding organic growth pipeline, Newcrest’s base case gold production is expected to remain strong until at least 2030, and we have a range of further upside opportunities being progressed across the portfolio. This production profile is also expected to drive a major reduction in all-in sustaining costs, which makes Newcrest unique in the industry.”

The firm stated that it has planned a three-phase transformation programme to boost the long-term potential and value of the Brucejack mine and the associated district.

Under Phase I, Newcrest is looking at incorporating the Newcrest Safety Transformation Plan focused around the NewSafe safety programme and Critical Control Management (CCM) programme for high-risk tasks to continue the safety improvement aspects at the Brucejack mine. 

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The firm expects the first phase to deliver efficiency gains through improved mine equipment tracking and monitoring, as well as progressive adoption of semi-autonomous and autonomous remote capabilities.

In the second phase, Newcrest plans to focus on boosting mill throughput capacity and mining performance.

It is aiming for an increase in the process plant capacity from the current permitted processing rate of 3,800tpd to between 4,500tpd and 5,000tpd.

The third phase will see the firm focus on using its expertise to unlock the potential of the associated district to deliver mineral resource and ore reserve growth.

It aims for an aggressive drilling programme for the next several years with around 200,000m to be completed this year. 

Newcrest expects Brucejack to produce between 95,000oz and 115,000oz of gold during its ownership in 2022.

With the completion of the deal, Pretivm will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange.