Newcrest's Lihir operation in Papua New Guinea has temporarily reduced production to approximately 25% of plant capacity due to an issue with the electrical system in the main oxygen plant. The oxygen plant supplies oxygen to the autoclaves to facilitate the pressure oxidation process which enables gold recovery from the ore feed.
Newcrest's maintenance team and the equipment manufacturer are addressing the issue and are working to have the plant ready for restart in the coming few days. Full production capacity is expected to be restored within 10 days.
Guidance for Lihir's full year production for the 2013 financial year remains unchanged at 700,000 to 900,000 ounces. Newcrest's full year production guidance remains unchanged at 2.3 to 2.5 million ounces of gold and 75 to 85 thousand tonnes of copper.
The reduced operation of the existing processing plant during this period does not impact the million ounce plant upgrade (MOPU) project, which remains on track for completion during the December 2012 quarter. The previously announced Lihir plant refurbishment program continues and will be completed during the 2014 financial year.
As previously advised to the market, gold production for the September 2012 quarter was planned to be lower than the June 2012 quarter before increasing through the 2013 financial year. With the lower production from Lihir and Ridgeway during the quarter, gold production for the September 2012 quarter is expected to be approximately 460,000 ounces.
For further information, please contact:
Investor Enquiries – North America/Europe
T: +1 212 351 5064
Investor Enquiries – Australia/Asia
T: +61 3 9522 5316
T: +61 3 9522 5593
This information is available on our website at www.newcrest.com.au.