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Red Chris receives regulatory and funding approval

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Global Mining Review,

Newcrest Mining Ltd has announced that it has commenced construction of the box cut for the exploration decline at its Red Chris mine in British Columbia, Canada, following receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals. The Newcrest Board has also approved CAN$135 million (on a 100% basis) of funding for the construction of the exploration decline and associated infrastructure and permitting costs. These works are expected to commence following the completion of the box-cut and are subject to further regulatory approvals which are in progress.

Newcrest Managing Director and CEO, Sandeep Biswas, said: “The commencement of construction of the box cut is a significant milestone in the objective of having a block cave in operation at Red Chris in the next 5 – 6 years. Drilling activities have confirmed the presence of high-grade pods in the upper sections of the macroblocks and we are evaluating a number of options to mine these pods with the aim of generating cash flows prior to the completion of the block cave. Together with the support of our stakeholders, we are excited by the potential to transform Red Chris into a Tier 1 asset through the application of our industry-leading block caving technology.”

The Board-approved funding of CAN$135 million (on a 100% basis) is in addition to previously approved amounts of CAN$12 million (on a 100% basis) for the construction of the box-cut and associated infrastructure which was included in Newcrest’s capital guidance for FY21.

Imperial Metals Corp. will fund their 30% share of early works expenditure in accordance with the Red Chris joint venture (JV) agreement.

Newcrest acquired its 70% interest and became the operator of Red Chris joint venture on 15 August 2019. The remaining 30% interest is owned by JV partner Imperial Metals Corp..

The existing Red Chris mine was built and is being operated as an opencast. Newcrest’s pre-acquisition due diligence and subsequent concept study identified the potential for Red Chris to have an operating block cave from FY27 to become a Tier 1 operating asset.

Newcrest is expecting to deliver a number of milestones for Red Chris within the next 12 months, including Newcrest’s initial resource estimate in March 2021 and a pre-feasibility study in the September quarter.

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