Wafi-Golpu is an advanced exploration project located in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG), approximately 65 kilometres south-west of the port city of Lae, PNG’s industrial hub and second largest city.
The project is owned by the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV), one of three unincorporated joint ventures between subsidiaries of Newcrest (50%) and Harmony Gold (50%), formed in 2008 and referred to collectively as the Morobe Mining Joint Ventures (MMJV).
Deep drilling conducted by the WGJV since 2008 has identified a world class porphyry deposit at Wafi-Golpu (the Golpu deposit) suited to bulk underground mining techniques, similar to those being employed by Newcrest at Cadia Valley Operations.
The project has Mineral Resources estimated to contain 26 million ounces of gold, 8.8 million tonnes of copper and 48 million ounces of silver. This includes Ore Reserves for the Golpu deposit estimated to contain 11 million ounces of gold and 4.8 million tonnes of copper. For more information refer to Newcrest’s Resource and Reserves Statement.
Currently, the Wafi-Golpu project includes the Golpu copper-gold porphyry deposit, the Nambonga copper-gold porphyry deposit and the Wafi high sulfidation epithermal gold deposit.
Exploration activity to date has shown that the Wafi-Golpu tenements host one of the highest grade porphyry copper systems in south-east Asia (the Golpu deposit).
The Golpu deposit is one of several porphyry ore bodies identified along the 25 kilometre long Wafi-Transfer. Newcrest and its joint venture partner are actively exploring this highly prospective terrain for additional deposits.
In December 2014 Newcrest and Harmony approved stage one of the Golpu project to proceed to feasibility study following the completion of an updated 2012 Golpu pre-feasibility study (PFS).
The updated Golpu PFS proposes a smaller, lower capital cost development for stage one of Golpu, with production expected to commence in the 2020 calendar year. The capital cost to build stage one is estimated at US$2.3 billion.
Stage one would target the upper higher value portion of the ore body via two block caves with an approximate mine life of 27 years. Ore would be conveyed to a nearby surface process plant which would produce a copper-gold concentrate. Annual production would be expected to peak in 2025 at 320,000 ounces of gold and 150,000 tonnes of copper.
Both the stage one feasibility study and the updated PFS for stage two are ongoing.
If the WGJV proceeds with the development of a mine at Golpu, a detailed environmental and social impact assessment will be carried out to identify potential environmental, social and community impacts. From these assessments, comprehensive environmental management and mitigation plans will be developed and put in place.