Tag Archives: Newcrest Mining

Newcrest begins exploration on Tatau island

The National aka The Loggers Times | May 2, 2017

THE Newcrest Mining Limited is conducting exploration on Tatau Island in New Ireland for copper and gold deposits.
In its recently released quarterly report, it said exploration had begun on Tatau Island as part of Newcrest’s option and farm-in agreement with St Barbara Limited to look for copper-gold porphyry-related deposits.
Tatau is an island in the Tabar Group to the east of New Ireland and about a mile south of Simberi Island.
According to Newcrest, target generation exploration is presently being conducted over several priority porphyry target areas to define future drill targets.
In a recent interview, New Ireland Provincial Government Mining, Lands and Commerce director Brian Hosea told The National that the provincial government was in consultation with Mineral Resources Authority regarding the project.
“We are in consultation with MRA. That is still on the drawing board,” Hosea said.
“We need to have things in place like briefing the Governor (to see) where we want to go. We also need to have all agreements signed – landowner agreements, memorandum of agreements, integrated benefit packages to do with the project.”
The province has Newcrest’s Lihir gold mining project and St Barbara’s Simberi operation. Nautilus Minerals is also developing the first seabed mining project in the province.
Hosea had previously said NIPG had been working closely with local landowners as the province will now play host to three mining projects.
He said the provincial government is aware of the importance of local participation in the mining projects.

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Newcrest refutes Fiji pit claim

A drill pad site. Photo: Namosi Joint Venture

A drill pad site. Photo: Namosi Joint Venture

Luke Rawalai | The Fiji Times | March 2, 2017

NEWCREST Exploration Fiji Ltd says it has no plans for a third mine pit for the Namosi Joint Venture.

This is after claims by the Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee (TNLC) that it had evidence to indicate that the NJV had plans for a third mine pit at Waivaka West in Namosi.

Committee chairperson Josefa Tauleka said they were hoping to sit with government officials to discuss the effects of extensive mining on the fragile ecosystem in the Namosi highlands.

Mr Tauleka said they had been studying the company’s exploration developments in the highlands for the past eight years and gathered evidence that the company intended to have a third mining pit at Waivaka West, which is a major water source on Viti Levu.

“In a letter to Natural Resources Standing Committee chairman Joeli Cawaki, the TNLC expressed its concerns on the effect of spillage to the neighbouring provinces of Serua, Naitasiri, Rewa and Tailevu,” he said.

Newcrest Exploration Fiji Ltd country manager Greg Morris said the company had no intention of mining a third pit.

He said they had continuously updated landowners on the progress of the project and “listen to their issues and concerns”.

“NJV has not yet applied for a mining licence. Neither does it have plans for a third pit as suggested by the TNLC.”

Newcrest Ltd has 71 per cent shares in the venture.

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Row Flares Again Over Namosi Exploration

TNCL chairman Josefa Tauleka with children of Namosi village who were also part of the meeting yesterday. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala

TNCL chairman Josefa Tauleka with children of Namosi village who were also part of the meeting yesterday. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala

Maika Bolatiki and Lusiana Tuimaisala | Fiji Sun | February 26, 2017

The Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee (TNLC) will seek a meeting with  Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to discuss its concerns about the mineral explorations in Namosi.

At a TNLC meeting at Namosi village yesterday, members unanimously opposed exploration currently carried out by the Namosi Joint Venture (NJV) on environmental grounds.

TNLC chairperson Josefa Tauleka said that they were against exploration since it started in Namosi because they felt it would destroy their natural resources.

He said that no one seemed to listen to them and that was why they wanted to meet with Mr Bainimarama.

“We have a caring Prime Minister and we know he will listen to us,” he said.

“We already had made a presentation to the Prime Minister in 2012  but we really want to meet him again to brief him of the current developments.”

Mr Tauleka said they fully supported the Prime Minister’s green economy policy because it was in line with what TNLC believed.

“We also support him as chair of COP 23.”

NJV is currently exploring minerals in the province and has been granted a licence, SPL 1420 till 2020.

Mr Tauleka claimed mining would be next.

He alleged that according to the company’s Mining Plan there would be two mining pits but from information they had gathered there would be a third pit at Waivaka West. The company, he alleged, had opted for open pit and not underground mining.

The NJV has strongly refuted claims by the TNLC of its plan to have a third pit.

“NJV has no plans for a third pit as suggested by the TNLC, “ Greg Morris the Newcrest Mining Limited Country Manager Fiji said.

He said they had not applied for a mining licence.

The company, he said, had been given an exploration licence only and that was what they were doing.

NJV made a presentation to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mineral Resources chaired by Joeli Cawaki on the progress of their exploration.

Meanwhile, Mr Morris said the company provided a briefing to the Parliamentary Natural Resources Standing Committee on the progress of the NJV Waisoi project Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA).

The ESIA is yet to be completed but it will discuss the potential impact and the proposed management measures in accordance with the term of Reference issued by the Department of Environment.

He said the NJV had been continuously meeting with the landowners over the past to update them on the  project and listen to their issues and concern.

See also: Tikina Namosi Landowners respond to NJV mining claims

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Tikina Namosi Landowners respond to NJV mining claims

A drill pad site. Photo: Namosi Joint Venture

Namosi Joint Venture exploration drill site

Tikina Namosi Landowners respond to the Chairman of the Fijian Parliamentary Select Committee on Natural Resource in relation to Namosi Joint Venture Director Mr Greg Morris’ claims on his presentation to the Standing Committee…

“Warm Greetings Mr Cawaki,

“At the outset, I wish to congratulate you on the tremendous work you are doing in assisting the Fijian People in these times.

“Vinaka saka vakalevu.

“I read with dismay the presentation given by Mr. Greg Morris yesterday as part of their presentation to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Natural Resources

“I write as Chairman of the Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee TNLC, wishing to highlight some of the issues needed also to be raised by Namosi Joint Venture NJV on but failed to do so. These are most important to us Fijian as we live in a very small island state called Fiji and wishing to commence with a massive open cut copper and Gold Mine very similar to OK Tedi in PNG. NJV has been smiling when it is explaining the economic benefit to the Country and not the Shareholders who will get more and the employing of 2000 people as part of its workforce, although I wish to highlight some of the issues from the Landowners perspectives and these are:

  1. Has NJV highlighted the environmental damages it has caused to our land the last 10 years of exploration in Namosi?
  2. Has NJV mentioned the vast area covered which if you look at the mine plan, anyone would be quick to establish that to have the first pit with a size of 180 rugby field and with 2 pits you will know that there will be migration of people;
  3. Has NJV mentioned of a third pit which is not mentioned in the Mine plan although we understand its where its gold deposit are concentrated,
  4. Has NJV mentioned that to show the third Pit, Government will automatically disallow the Mine License,
  5. Has NJV mentioned of a cost benefit analysis after mining has finished.
  6. Who pays for these costs?
  7. Is it sustainable to have a massive copper/gold mine in the smallest province in Fiji;
  8. In terms of migration, where will our people settled,,,,,,, Serua?
  9. What happen to the Heritage Act, the Museum Act, the Archeological and Paleontologist Act.- How can they identify with us?
  10. What’s the use of the Baseline Studies and where is the report now?
  11. What happens to provinces such as Serua, Naitasiri, Rewa and Tailevu if spillages does occur?
  12. Who will pay for the social implication after mining?
  13. What is the use of taking the lead in Climate Change stance as part of the COP 21, 22 and our taking Chairmanship in COP 23?
  14. When our ecosystem is damaged, who will feed us when all living organism are dead through chemical use,
  15. Has NJV mentioned that the Suva/Nausori populations are drinking from the Waimanu River that flows from Wainivalelevu from Namosi?
  16. How does the LOU benefit from this mine?
  17. How sustainable is the waste storage DAM or Tailing Dam. Who pays for the spillage downstream if an Earthquake or any disastrous weather phenomenon does occur?

“Sir the list goes on and on. The money is good for the Country on a short term benefit but the damage caused cannot be put the pristine environment back again. It will whisper to your ear and say…..moce qi sa la.

“As members of the Fiji First Party and government, we understand that we are following government road map to sustainable development and to have a project that is unsustainable will be against your road map.

“We need fresh air, fresh water, fresh crops and vegetation for our survival, so to mine Namosi is taking away what the almighty has given us to enjoy.

“I hope the TNLC’s humble plea will be taken on board and that serious and honest consideration in that Namosi should not be mined as it will cause more to the people and government after mining has taken place.

“What we do in our lives will determined our destiny to the next life whether it be good or bad, we will answer to the almighty or how justifiable we are.

“Vinaka saka vakalevu.

Josefa Rauto Waqavatu Tauleka

Chairman TNLC

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Harmony pins its hopes on Hidden Valley

Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

PNG gold to make South African company rich while Morobe people continue to suffer…

Kabelo Khumalo | Business Report | 3 February 2017

Harmony Gold is pinning its growth hopes on its newly acquired Hidden Valley mine and is prowling the market for big acquisitions as most of its South African operations were nearing the end of their production lifespans.

It would focus on Hidden Valley, as its other mines in Masimong, Kusasalethu, Unisel and Bambanani were left with less than five years of mining.

Chief executive Peter Steenkamp said on Thursday, besides actively pursuing assets, the company had a solid plan for Hidden Valley. He said Harmony planned to produce 180 000 ounces of gold a year for seven years at the mine to achieve a total production of 1.5 million ounces a year across the group in two years time.

Last year, the company bought 100 percent of Hidden Valley, a gold and copper project in Papua New Guinea, after buying out its partner, Newcrest Mining, Australia’s biggest gold producer for $180 million (R2.42 billion). The company previously had a 50 percent stake in the Papua New Guinea mine.

Steenkamp said the company would focus on strong operational performance and create further value.

“Our operations – both in South Africa and Papua New Guinea – are maintaining their momentum and we believe our annual guidance of approximately 1 050 000 ounces of gold at a price of about $1100/oz is achievable.”

Steenkamp added that Harmony revenue, including the gold hedge for the six months ended December, increased by 3 percent to R9.8 billion.

He said the group’s total production profit decreased to R2.4bn in the period from R3bn from the comparative one. The company said it realised R233 million in profits from the gold hedge while group headline earnings increased to 150cents, up from the 100c from the comparable period.

 Steenkamp said the company reduced its net debt from R1.1 billion to R289 million at the end of December. He said the company would take a measured approach as it scours the market for acquisitions and would refrain from overpaying for its targeted assets. Harmony declared an interim dividend of 50c, its first since the six months to the end of 2012.

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Lihir could yet be million ounce gold mine: Biswas

Newcrest Mining chief executive Sandeep Biswas says the leNewcrest chief Sandeep Biswas has stressed he is more interested in value rather than volume.

Newcrest chief Sandeep Biswas has stressed he is more interested in value rather than volume.

A million ounces of gold a year sounds great for Newcrest shareholders – but what about the poor people of New Ireland, left behind as the quasi-colonial mining companies ship their gold? 

Peter Ker | Australian Financial Review

The man leading the turn-around of Australia’s biggest gold miner, Sandeep Biswas, has not given up hope that the Lihir gold mine may yet fulfil its potential to produce a million ounces of gold in a year.

The Newcrest chief executive has in recent years improved output from the PNG mine, which Newcrest acquired for $10.5 billion of scrip in 2010.

Located in the caldera of an extinct volcano, Lihir boasts one of the world’s largest gold deposits and was supposed to be producing more than a million ounces per year by 2012.

But Lihir has never lived up to those expectations, with annual production never getting close and reliability issues prompting $5.6 billion of asset impairments over the past five years.

But improvements have been seen in the 30 months since Mr Biswas took the reins at Newcrest; mill throughput has risen at Lihir by close to 30 per cent, plant availability has risen from just over 70 per cent to more than 80 per cent while all-in sustaining costs of production have fallen from $1201 per ounce in the December half of 2013 to $830 per ounce in fiscal 2016.

Lihir produced a record 900,034 ounces of gold in fiscal 2016, and official guidance for fiscal 2017 has been set at between 880,000 ounces and 980,000 ounces.

Mr Biswas rarely speaks about gold production targets, preferring instead to guide investors towards more controllable goals such as the volumes of ore put through the processing circuit at Lihir.

But he told The Australian Financial Review that producing 1 million ounces of gold from Lihir in a year could yet be achieved.

“If you took the plant up to 15 million tonnes to 17 million tonnes grinding rate, as long as your [gold] grade was in the high 2 per cent [range] then yes, it’s possible to get over a million ounces,” he said in a recent interview.

For comparison, Newcrest was due to be grinding at about 13 million tonnes per year by the end of 2016, 14 million tonnes by December 2017 and 15 million tonnes per year within five years.

But while 1 million ounces per year would be a major milestone for Lihir, it does not appear to be a driving ambition for Mr Biswas.

The Indian-born executive stressed he was more interested in value rather than volume, and under his stewardship Newcrest is taking a lower-cost development approach to Lihir that has seen its gold production volumes rise more slowly than originally anticipated.

Plans to be producing 1 million ounces at Lihir by 2012 implied an early development of a high-grade gold deposit called Kapit, but Mr Biswas has delayed the development of Kapit and studied ways to do it more economically.

“With the work we have done on developing the Kapit ore body, we have saved $1 billion on capex minimum which they would have had to spend under that plan,” he said.

“We have pushed that back, by the time we get to Kapit it will be 2025.

“Yes it [Kapit] has better [gold] grades, but you don’t want to spend a billion and half dollars going to get it, we would rather spend $200 or $300 million, which is the current plan.” 

“When you look at how much gold you produce you also have to look at how much capex and what your operating costs are. I think we’ve got a much more sustainable model.”

Newcrest is expected to publish its December-quarter production results on  January 30, before revealing half-year financial results on February 13.

Mr Biswas is scheduled to give an address to the Melbourne Mining Club on February 9.

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Hidden Valley LO association urge Govt to sign revised Mining Act

Peter O'Neill announced his government's climb down in Sydney

Peter O’Neill announced his government’s climb down over the Mining Act in Sydney

Post Courier | December 15, 2016

THE government has been called upon to review their decisions and sign the revised mining act for implementation.

Hidden Valley’s Nakuwi Landowners Association president Rex Mauri said this yesterday following the announcement by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during the mining conference in Sydney, Australia, recently to defer the revised mining act.

“We the landowners from Hidden Valley are appealing for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Mining Minister Byron Chan to review the decision,” he said.

He said Mr O’Neill had announced during the mining conference that the revised mining act will be deferred until after the 2017 General Election.

“This is a slap in the face for landowners, contributing individuals and entities efforts’ in compiling the act.

“This revised mining act is vital because once it is signed, then the benefits rollout will surely reach the affected host project communities and all stakeholders in the country.

“However, it is very frustrating and the deferral indicates that the PM is serving the interest of the developer and not the landowners of PNG.

“I have been actively involved in the operation of Hidden Valley mine for almost 34 years, yet I don’t experience any tangible developments occurring in affected communities of Morobe Mining Joint Venture, and the living standards of the people are still low,” Mr Mauri said.

He claimed that the gross payment of the mine is divided as two per cent belonging to the landowners which is shared among the national government, provincial government, local level government and landowners, while the developer is enjoying 98 per cent. Mr Mauri said that these are some issues that are highlighted and amended in the new revised mining act so the political leaders in mining provinces must support the call and raise their voice about the decision and ensure the mining act is signed and ready for implementation.

“We cannot drag this on as operations are continuing every day and changes are happening to our environment. Let us all voice our concern to ensure we benefit fully.”

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