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Newcrest Mining Limited , one of the world’s largest gold mining companies with operations in four countries including Papua New Guinea, has recently invested approximately $2 billion to develop the first Cadia East panel cave (‘Panel Cave 1’), in Cadia Valley, Australia.

The investment covers associated infrastructure to boost a major expansion of Cadia’s processing plant capacity from 24 to 26 million tonnes per annum.

According to a statement released at Port Moresby and Australian Stock Exchange, Newcrest has invested in commercial production from Panel Cave 1 commenced in January 2013.

The development of the second panel cave (‘Panel Cave 2’) is ongoing with the recent commissioning of the Panel Cave 2 underground west crusher completed ahead of schedule.

The development of Cadia East sees the continuation of a 20 year history of exploration and mining development by Newcrest in the Cadia Valley.

Newcrest Managing Director and CEO, Greg Robinson says;

“Cadia East is a large, long life asset and a cornerstone of our company’s strategy. It is one of the largest gold and copper deposits in the world, with 2.8 billion tonnes of ore estimated to contain 37 million ounces of gold and 7.5 million tonnes of copper. With an approved mine life of 21 years, Cadia East will deliver significant economic benefits to the local community, the workforce and suppliers, local, State and Federal governments, and of course Newcrest’s shareholders for the long term.

“We have worked hard over the past two and a half years to build a world class underground mining operation that not only supports the growth of Newcrest, but will provide lasting benefits to the local community.

“Through extensive planning and teamwork, we have built a highly efficient, low cost mine more than 1.2 kilometres under the surface. We have continued to utilise the latest technology and challenged ourselves to improve bulk underground mining methods along the way. Cadia East is at the forefront of innovation and is of international interest.

“This mine is a credit to our dedicated and skilled people and I am exceptionally proud of their success,”