Newcrest Min­ing talks up PNG op­er­a­tion

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

NEWCREST Min­ing Ltd is bullish about its Pa­pua New Guinea op­er­a­tions as it em­barks on a global in­vestor road­show this month.

Aus­tralia’s big­gest gold miner last year re­vised up its ex­plo­ration t ar­get at i t s Wafi-Golpu mine in PNG to more than 30 mil­lion ounces of gold and eight mil­lion tonnes of cop­per.

That com­pares to pre­vi­ous e s t i mat e s o f 1 6 mi l l i o n o u n c e s a n d 4 . 9 mi l l i o n tonnes, re­spec­tively.

Newcrest will be con­duct­ing in­vestor brief­ings in the UK, North Amer­ica and Asia dur­ing March.

‘‘ Deep drilling un­der­taken and re­ported in re­cent quar­ters con­tin­ues to demon­strate the Golpu por­phyry de­posit may be sig­nif­i­cantly larger than the re­ported re­source,’’ the com­pany said yes­ter­day.

Mine Life se­nior re­sources an­a­lyst Gavin Wendt said the com­pany must be con­fi­dent.

‘‘ Nor­mally these big com­pa­nies are pretty con­ser­va­tive, so that’s a pretty bold state­ment,’’ he said.

Gavin Wendt

‘‘ That’s a mas­sive in­ter­sec­tion of 800 me­tres at 600 me­tres within that, 3g/ t and just un­der cop­per.

‘‘ That’s a fab­u­lous in­ter­cept and that’s go­ing to be a re­ally, hugely prof­itable de­posit.’’

Prefea­si­bil­ity at the mine is due to be com­pleted by the end of 2011, ahead of a de­vel­op­ment de­ci­sion in 2014.

The pro­ject un­der­lined Newcrest’s fo­cus on the Pac i f i c r e g i o n , i n c l u d i n g I ndone­sia, where i t had ‘‘ done well’’, Mr Wendt said.

Newcrest last year be­came the world’s fourth-big­gest gold­miner.

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