Newcrest Mining says it will vigorously defend itself against four legal challenges brought by private company, Gold and Copper Resources (GCR), which threaten some of its $2 billion Cadia East mining project. Land controlled by GCR and Newcrest has a 70 kilometre common border in the Cadia Valley in central western NSW, close to Orange.
GCR lodged a claim in the NSW Land and Environment Court, arguing construction of Newcrest Mining`s Cadia East mine had taken place on land on which Newcrest does not have a mining lease.
GCR`s states Newcrest extended a dam onto areas “for which no mining lease is held”. The company claims trees and vegetation covering about 30 acres were removed to allow for the extension of the dam. It also claims Newcrest has constructed a slurry pipeline and a pumping station on land over which it does not hold a mining lease. It also claimed “surface cracks are expected to”‰appear” in the disputed area, “causing potential harm to fauna, topography, soil and water flow”.
It seems likely that the latest action is related to the earlier claim by GCR to secure the two exploration licences. If Newcrest were found to be in breach of the Mining Act or Protection of the Environment Operations Act ““ as GCR alleges ““ it could also be in breach of the exploration licences that are in strategically important positions close to Cadia`s existing operations.
GCR hopes to discover similar ore bodies to Cadia, which produced 473,195 ounces of gold and 44,778 tonnes of copper for Newcrest in 2011-12.
A spokeswoman for Newcrest said the company was and will be “vigorously defending” all of the actions.
“GCR has holdings of exploration licences in the Cadia district. GCR is seeking to expand those holdings, including by challenging existing Newcrest exploration tenure in the region,“ it said.
Newcrest expansion expected to add 800,000 ounces p.a. and create more mining jobs
The expansion of its operations in the Cadia Valley are a crucial part of the company`s future, with Newcrest expecting Cadia East will add 800,000 ounces of annual gold production to its current 2.3 million ounces, meaning more mining jobs for the district.
Construction is due to be completed by December 2012 and legal matters were not expected to interrupt with the operations at Cadia including the commencement of production at the new underground gold mine.
This court case highlights the legal side of mining in Australia and how simple issues can become the catalyst for action that can hamper the productivity of a mine and create the environment for instability in a mining workforce. The court battle between Newcrest and GCR could be seen as an opportunity for people looking for work in the mines because here we have 2 mining companies fighting over mining tenements that are rich in ore, bodies.
Gold miners Newcrest and GCR battle in court