Wafi- Golfu, Papua New Guinea
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.
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.
The Tasiast gold mine is located about 300km north of Nouakchott and 162km east-south-east of Nouâdhibou in the north-western Mauritania. It is an open pit mine lying in a prospective greenstone belt.
Officially opened in July 2007, the gold mine began commercial operations in 2008. The gold equivalent production in 2009 was 158,657oz with a 336/oz cost of sale. Production in 2012 increased to 185,334oz.
In the fourth quarter of 2009, the processing capacity was expanded from 1m tons per year (mt/y) to 2.5mt/y. This expansion included improvements to the crushing circuit, and the addition of a CIL tank, a ball mill and a gold room.
In September 2010, Canadian gold mining company Kinross Gold (Kinross) acquired 100% ownership of the Tasiast mine from Red Back Mining. This takeover was part of a $7.1bn acquisition of Red Back Mining by the metal producer. The life of the mine is expected to run until 2030.
The proven and probable reserves at Tasiast as of December 2012 stood at 149.65mt graded at 1.66g/t, which is equivalent to 7.96 million ounces of gold. Measured and indicated resources are estimated at 6.75 million ounces.
Kinross planned to invest about $1.5bn for the expansion of Tasiast mine by 2013. The expansion plan is, however, deferred until 2015 due to the decline in gold prices. The expansion will include construction of a new mill to increase the processing capacity from the current 10,000t/d to 38,000t/d.