Newcrest lines up operations with 2020 guidance

The Telfer operation. Image: Newcrest Mining.

Newcrest has reduced travel and interaction between work groups to minimise the chance of transmitting coronavirus.

The gold miner has altered rosters, and suspended drive in, drive out (DIDO) activities and face-to-face engagement with the local communities where the Telfer and Havieron projects are located in Western Australia.

At the Cadia operation in New South Wales, Newcrest relies largely on a residential workforce or resources from within the state.

The company confirmed that the transportation of concentrate from Blayney to Port Kembla remained open.

It was also able to attract key personnel to the Lihir mine in Papua New Guinea before international and domestic flights were suspended.

Newcrest aims to continue operations and planned maintenance cycles at Lihir for the near to medium term.

“At this point in time, the ports remain open to allow the receipt of key supplies and doré continues to be able to be transported to the Perth Mint,” according to Newcrest.

The company maintained its guidance for the 2020 financial year despite limitations that had been inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is subject to market and operating conditions amid the crisis.

Newcrest, however, flagged that its 20,000-ounces attributable production from the Fruta del Norte mine in Ecuador was at risk given the operation suspension.

Conversely, Newcrest’s mining operations of Red Chris in Canada were exempt from coronavirus-related restrictions.

Newcrest has altered its Red Chris employee roster to provide for longer on and off-site periods, decreasing the amount of travel required and providing First Nation employees with increased time to self-isolate before returning to their local communities.

“At this point in time, Newcrest has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease of 2019) at any of its operations or projects, with all mines continuing to operate and there being no change to the company’s guidance for the 2020 financial year,” Newcrest stated.

“The limitations on the movement of people interstate and internationally is being managed effectively at this point in time.”

Newcrest established a $20 million community support fund to provide financial support to its host communities as they faced challenges associated with the pandemic.

Company managing director Sandeep Biswas said the fund would initially focus on increasing the availability of medical care and equipment to cope with the pandemic.

“(It will also assist) in the provision of other essential goods and services, in the communities that host Newcrest’s operations worldwide,” he said.