Mining has restarted at one of Australia’s biggest gold mines in New South Wales after a three-week suspension.
- Cadia Gold Mine restarted underground work after three weeks of shutdown
- A nearby road is closed after being damaged by mining works
- Road closure causes hardship to nearby farms
Newcrest Mining has announced that employees have resumed underground operations at Cadia Gold Mine near Orange after being evacuated four weeks ago when instability was detected in a ventilation shaft.
In a statement, general manager Aaron Brannigan said vent repairs had reached a stage where it was safe for personnel to return to underground operations.
“The resumption of mining has been subject to a rigorous safety test and response program, with production gradually increasing over the past few days,” Mr. Brannigan said.
During the shutdown, the mine said production was unaffected and it dipped into inventory to maintain production, but local landowners did not receive the same buffer.
A few meters from the damaged well, Cadia Road is the main access road to Orange for local residents and will remain closed for several more weeks.
Road repair work following damage caused by mining vehicles will not begin until the backfilling of the damaged vent is complete.
Farmers were concerned about the potential impact on groundwater because the vent crossed an aquifer that was discharging water into the well.
The honey industry also impacted
One of Australia’s biggest beekeepers feared the road closure would also hamper his operations at a time when Varroa mites posed a significant threat.
Jon Lockwood of Goldfields Honey said that each October the company typically places beehives in a state forest that borders Cadia Road.
He said putting their bees elsewhere in NSW was not an option at the moment.
“Resources are a huge issue right now in the beekeeping industry, especially with the threat of varroa mites on our backdoor,” Mr Lockwood said.
“We’re going to have to be as close to home as possible for surveillance.
“The whole situation concerns me greatly.”
Newcrest Mining’s latest financial report does not indicate that the mining shutdown has impacted the company’s profits.
Cadia produced over 560,000 ounces of gold and approximately 85,000 tonnes of copper in the year to June 30.
This was less than for the same period in 2021.
The report states that the decline in operational and financial performance of Cadia is due to the replacement and upgrade of equipment, which was completed in November 2021, and an expected decline in quality.