Australia-based gold explorer Newcrest Mining has partially restarted operations at a part of the Cadia East underground mine in New South Wales (NSW) that halted after an earthquake in April.   

The move comes after NSW authorities lifted the prohibition order issued following the earthquake, bringing operations to a grinding halt.

Prior to this, the company submitted remediation and restart plans for Panel Cave 1 (PC1) and PC2.

Newcrest noted that remediation and upgrade work required to restart ore extraction from Cadia East’s Panel Cave (PC) 2 has been completed.

According to the company, the extraction of ore is a test phase is expected to take two to four weeks before it will assess conditions to confirm normal operations from PC2. 

"The cost of remediation and upgrade works are expected to be around $25m."

During the test period, ore will be drawn from each of the 165 drawbells in PC2, following this the cave response will be monitored with the cave seismic monitoring system.

Both PC2 crushers and the conveyor system have been tested and are operational.

Meanwhile, Newcrest is continuing remediation and upgrade work on the PC1 extraction level and crusher chamber, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next financial year.

Further testing of the PC1 crusher and material handling systems has been completed and are confirmed as operational.

The cost of remediation and upgrade works are expected to be around $25m. 

Newcrest has not changed its last outlook for Cadia’s production for the next fiscal year from its earlier projection of between 650,000oz-750,000oz.