Melbourne, Australia--(Newsfile Corp. - February 10, 2021) - Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) (TSX: NCM) (PNGX: NCM) is pleased to announce that it has commenced construction of the box-cut for the exploration decline at its Red Chris mine in British Columbia, following receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals. The Newcrest Board has also approved C$135 million (on a 100% basis) of funding for the construction of the exploration decline and associated infrastructure and permitting costs. These works are expected to commence following the completion of the box-cut and are subject to further regulatory approvals which are in progress.
Newcrest Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Biswas, said, "The commencement of construction of the box-cut is a significant milestone in the objective of having a block cave in operation at Red Chris in the next five to six years. Drilling activities have confirmed the presence of high-grade pods in the upper sections of the macroblocks and we are evaluating a number of options to mine these pods with the aim of generating cash flows prior to the completion of the block cave. Together with the support of our stakeholders, we are excited by the potential to transform Red Chris into a Tier 1 asset through the application of our industry-leading block caving technology."
Early Works Funding
The Board-approved funding of C$135 million (on a 100% basis) is in addition to previously approved amounts of C$12 million (on a 100% basis) for the construction of the box-cut and associated infrastructure which was included in Newcrest's capital guidance for FY21.
Imperial Metals Corporation will fund their 30% share of early works expenditure in accordance with the Red Chris Joint Venture Agreement.
Newcrest acquired its 70% interest and became the operator of Red Chris joint venture on 15 August 2019. The remaining 30% interest is owned by joint venture partner Imperial Metals Corporation.
The existing Red Chris mine was built and is being operated as an open pit. Newcrest's pre-acquisition due diligence and subsequent Concept Study identified the potential for Red Chris to have an operating block cave from FY27 to become a Tier 1operating asset1.
Newcrest is expecting to deliver a number of milestones for Red Chris within the next 12 months, including Newcrest's initial resource estimate in March 2021 and a Pre-Feasibility Study in the September quarter.
Authorised by the Newcrest Disclosure Committee
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1 The development of a block cave mine at the Red Chris Project will be subject to the completion of a successful exploration program and further studies, market and operating conditions, Board approvals, and a positive decision to mine.