Newcrest Mining Limited is the largest gold producer listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and one of the largest gold producers in the world.
Newcrest dates back to 1966, when Newmont Mining Limited established an Australian subsidiary, Newmont Holdings Limited (which subsequently changed its name to Newmont Australia Limited), to find and develop gold prospects in Australia.
In 1990, Newmont Australia Limited acquired Australmin Holdings Limited and merged with BHP Gold Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of BHP Limited). The merged entity changed its name to Newcrest Mining Limited.
Newcrest has been listed on the ASX since 1987 (initially as Newmont Australia Limited). Following the successful merger with Lihir Gold Limited in 2010, Newcrest also listed on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange. In March 2012, Newcrest successfully applied for a secondary listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Newcrest has a proud history of exploration, discovery, development and operation of gold mines.
At Lihir, Newcrest successfully commissioned a major expansion of the process plant at the start of February. This included the installation of a new crushing facility and upgrades to the ore processing plant.
At Cadia Valley, the Cadia East underground mine commenced commercial production at the start of January.
In November, Newcrest announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell a 7.5% interest in PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals (the owner of the Gosowong mine in Indonesia) to PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) for market value. Following completion of the sale, upon receipt of regulatory approvals in December 2012, Newcrest’s interest in PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals is 75% (down from 82.5%) and Antam’s interest is 25% (up from 17.5%).
In October, Newcrest completed a second issue of bonds to US institutional investors to a total value of US$1 billion.
In March, Newcrest obtained a secondary listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
In November, Newcrest completed the sale of its 70% interest in the Cracow gold mine and exploration interests and its 100% interest in the Mt Rawdon mine and exploration interests, in Queensland, to a new company called Evolution Mining Limited, formed by a merger between Catalpa Resources Limited (which had previously acquired Sedimentary Holdings Limited’s 30% interests in Cracow) and Conquest Mining Limited. Through the sale, Newcrest received shares in Evolution Mining Limited equal to approximately 38% of the company, subsequently diluted to approximately 32.96% (as at December 2011).
Newcrest also completed the issue of bonds to US institutional investors to a total value of US$1 billion in November.
The Hidden Valley Gold Mine in Morobe province, Papua New Guinea, commenced commercial operations in September.
Newcrest successfully commissioned the Ridgeway Deeps underground mine at Cadia Valley, New South Wales.
Newcrest obtained approval to proceed with the development of the Cadia East underground project at Cadia Valley, New South Wales.
Newcrest completed the 69.94% investment earn-in to the Namosi Joint Venture in Fiji.
In August, Newcrest successfully completed the merger with Lihir Gold Limited (LGL) via a court approved scheme of arrangement. Through the merger, Newcrest acquired the Lihir gold mine in Papua New Guinea, the Mount Rawdon Gold Mine in Queensland, the Bonikro Gold Mine and a large portfolio of exploration interests in Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa. Following the merger, Newcrest listed on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange.
The Gosowong Expansion project on Halmahera Island, Indonesia was completed and commissioned. The project included mining at Kencana, expansion of the mill and other facilities.
A pre-feasibility study for the development of the Wafi-Golpu advanced exploration project, near Lae in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea, was commenced. Wafi-Golpu is being developed as part of a joint venture between Newcrest and Harmony Gold Mining, called the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (one of the three Morobe Mining joint ventures).
Newcrest signed an agreement with Nittetsu and Materials Investments (Fiji) Ltd to increase its holding in the Namosi Joint Venture in Fiji from 65% to 69.94%.
In July, Newcrest completed the acquisition of its 50% interest in the three unincorporated joint ventures with the Morobe Mining Joint Ventures.
Further exploration of the Cadia East ore body at Cadia Valley in New South Wales identified the opportunity to develop a large underground panel cave.
Newcrest acquired a 50% interest in certain assets of Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited (of South Africa) in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea, for a total consideration of US$536 million resulting in the establishment of three unincorporated joint ventures, collectively known as the Morobe Mining Joint Ventures, and each owned 50/50 by Newcrest and Harmony – the Hidden Valley Joint Venture which owned the Hidden Valley gold mine project; the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture which held the Wafi-Golpu exploration project; and the Morobe Exploration Joint Venture which held a portfolio of exploration interests. This was Newcrest’s first investment in Papua New Guinea.
Newcrest successfully completed a $2 billion rights issue at $17.40 per share to fund the closure of its hedgebook and repay debt. This combined with record gold production for the financial year ended 30 June 2007 to strengthen profit and operating cash flow.
Newcrest signed a farm-in agreement with Nittetsu Mining Co. Limited to earn a 65% interest in the Namosi Project in Fiji by funding A$21.5m of exploration activities. The Joint Venture Agreement for Namosi was subsequently signed by Newcrest, Nittetsu and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, and the JV commenced on 4 January 2008.
The study phase of the Gosowong Expansion Project on Halmahera Island, Indonesia, was commenced, focusing on mining at Kencana and expansion of the mill and other facilities.
Newcrest achieved a substantial increase in gold production to over 1.5 million ounces in the 2005/06 financial year.
The Telfer Expansion Project in Western Australia was completed with commissioning of the underground mine and commencement of production.
Newcrest reported Cadia East open pit ore reserves (in New South Wales), as 1.8 million ounces of gold and 630,000 tonnes of copper.
Evaluation of the Ridgeway Deeps deposit, the fourth deposit at Cadia Valley progressed to feasibility stage, before commencing development in 2007.
The Kencana project, the third development at Gosowong, Indonesia, was granted development approval with first mining in March 2006.
An initial underground gold reserve of 6 million ounces and 630,000 tonnes of copper were reported for Cadia East, the third deposit at Cadia Valley, New South Wales.
In February the first gold was produced from the Toguraci mine at Gosowong in Indonesia.
Newcrest was admitted to the ASX/S&P Top 50.
The Telfer Expansion Project in Western Australia commenced open pit production and the processing plant was commissioned.
The Cracow underground operation was commissioned in Queensland.
Newcrest commenced a pre-feasibility study into the development of the Cadia East deposit in Cadia Valley, New South Wales.
PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals (Newcrest, 82.5%) obtained approval to develop a second deposit at Gosowong in Indonesia, known as Toguraci. In the same year a third deposit at Gosowong, called Kencana, was discovered.
The feasibility study for development of an underground mine at Cracow in Queensland was successfully completed. Soon after, development was approved and the Cracow Mine unincorporated joint venture between Newcrest (70%) and Sedimentary Holdings (30%) was established to develop and operate the mine.
Newcrest commenced mining at Ridgeway in Cadia Valley, New South Wales.
The re-evaluation of Telfer’s mineralisation through the feasibility study (undertaken in 2000) almost trebled Newcrest’s reserve base to 28.5 million ounces and increased resources by 26% to 53 million ounces.
Newcrest approved the Telfer Expansion Project in Western Australia, comprising the construction of a new processing plant and development of the Telfer underground mine.
In October, operations at the Telfer mine in Western Australia were suspended due to high production costs. Newcrest undertook an initial feasibility study to re-evaluate the Telfer mineralisation and determine the best approach to the recommencement of mining.
Operations commenced at Ridgeway mine in Cadia Valley, New South Wales.
Gosowong, on Halmahera Island, Indonesia was commissioned, with first gold poured in July, by PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals, a joint venture company between Newcrest (82.5%) and PT Aneka Tambang (17.5%). This operation was Newcrest’s first offshore site.
Newcrest obtained approval to develop Ridgeway at Cadia Valley, New South Wales.
The Gosowong feasibility study in Indonesia was completed and initial approval for project development was granted. Building commenced at the Gosowong site in September.
Newcrest also commenced pre-feasibility studies to investigate the potential expansion of Telfer in Western Australia and achieved success in initial explorations at Cracow, Queensland.
In August, commercial production commenced at Cadia Hill, New South Wales.
The Cadia Hill feasibility study was completed and Newcrest approved the development of the Cadia Hill mine in New South Wales. Construction commenced in October and was completed in 1998.
The Gosowong pre-feasibility study was completed, indicating the viability of building a high-grade, low-cost gold mine on the island of Halmahera, Indonesia.
Newcrest discovered the high-grade gold/copper mineralisation known as Ridgeway, adjacent to Cadia Hill. Ridgeway was the third deposit discovered by Newcrest at Cadia Valley.
Newcrest entered into an exploration joint venture with Sedimentary Holdings Limited to explore for gold in the historical goldfield area known as Cracow in central Queensland.
Newcrest’s first offshore discovery was made at Gosowong, Indonesia, along with further deposits at Telfer in Western Australia and the first discovery of the Cadia East deposit at Cadia Valley in New South Wales.
Newcrest discovered the first of the Cadia Valley deposits known as Cadia Hill, near Orange in New South Wales.
Newcrest commenced its first offshore exploration program at Halmahera Island in Indonesia.
Newmont Australia Limited acquired Australmin Holdings Limited and merged with BHP Gold Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of BHP Limited). The merged entity changed its name to Newcrest Mining Limited.
Newmont Holdings Limited changed its name to Newmont Australia and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Development of the first Telfer open pit mine commenced in Western Australia. Telfer was developed and operated by a joint venture between Newmont and BHP Gold Limited (with full production commencing in 1977).
Newmont established an Australian subsidiary, Newmont Holdings Limited, to explore for gold.