Melbourne - Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) (TSX: NCM) (PNGX: NCM) (Newcrest) is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of Pretium Resources Inc. (TSX: PVG) (NYSE: PVG) (Pretivm) (the Transaction).
Pretivm owns the Brucejack mine in the highly prospective Golden Triangle region of British Columbia, Canada. Brucejack began commercial production in July 2017 and is one of the highest-grade operating gold mines in the world.
Newcrest's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Biswas, said 'We are delighted to reach this major milestone and I welcome our new shareholders, employees, First Nations partners, local communities and business partners resulting from the Transaction. We are very excited to add Brucejack to Newcrest's portfolio, which now includes exposure to six Tier 1 assets. Through this acquisition and the continued development of our outstanding organic growth pipeline, Newcrest's base case gold production is expected to remain strong until at least 2030, and we have a range of further upside opportunities being progressed across the portfolio. This production profile is also expected to drive a major reduction in All-In Sustaining Costs, which makes Newcrest unique in the industry.'
'We have a proud history and depth of experience in operating epithermal gold mines over many years. We will pursue efficiencies to simplify mining and increase productivity through a holistic view of the Brucejack operations and orebody.'
'In parallel, our exploration team will be progressing an extensive drilling campaign across the Brucejack mineral claims which make up one of the largest epithermal footprints we have ever seen. The land package is largely unexplored and very early in its life, and we see significant upside potential beyond Valley of the Kings and Golden Marmot.'
'The combined team is driven and has the capability to deliver our three phase transformation program which we believe will generate significant long-term value for our shareholders,' said Mr Biswas.
Transformation plan for Brucejack
Newcrest has identified a range of opportunities to maximise the long-term potential and value of the Brucejack mine and associated district-scale potential. Building on the strong foundations set by Pretivm and the delivery of a three phase transformation program, Newcrest has identified a range of key initiatives that will leverage its experience and expertise to deliver long term value for its stakeholders.
Phase 1: Optimise
Newcrest will look to continue the safety improvement journey at Brucejack by embedding the Newcrest Safety Transformation Plan centred around the NewSafe safety program and Critical Control Management (CCM) program for high risk tasks. This proven program will provide a framework for the next evolution of safety at Brucejack, with a focus on eliminating life changing injuries and fatalities.
Phase 1 is expected to deliver efficiency gains through adoption of the latest technologies, including: Improved mine equipment tracking and monitoring via underground mine dispatch and communication capabilities; progressive adoption of semi-autonomous and autonomous remote capabilities; asset management and asset health monitoring capabilities and assessment of ore sorting opportunity for incremental grade uplift.
The application of Newcrest's EDGE mindset to critical processes will further optimise the operation. For example, Newcrest will look to incorporate stope ore recovery and dilution improvement controls utilising a dedicated drill and blast improvement plan, which is a similar process to that which was successfully applied at Gosowong. Any improvements in the drill and blast process will optimise grade delivery to the mill and reduce costs, with further work to quantify the potential benefit anticipated to be completed in calendar year 2022.
Newcrest expects to deliver synergy benefits of approximately C$15 to $20 million (US$12 to $16 million) per annum2 through leveraging supply, logistics, travel and procurement opportunities with Newcrest's majority-owned and operated Red Chris mine, approximately 140km away.
Phase 2: Unlock
In the next phase, Newcrest will focus on realising the full 'uplift' potential of Brucejack by increasing mill throughput capacity and improving mining performance. While Brucejack is a high-quality asset with a well-developed mine, there are a number of opportunities identified to enhance operational performance.
Newcrest is targeting an increase in the process plant capacity from the current permitted processing rate of 3,800 tonnes per day to between 4,500 to 5,000 tonnes per day1. This uplift will be subject to study outcomes and the required permitting and approvals. Current indications are that this is expected to be a capital efficient process, with much of the plant expansion related to debottlenecking opportunities across current constraints.
Another key component of Phase 2 is to deliver increased mine capacity. Newcrest anticipates mining rates will increase with an optimised mine plan including updated mining inventories from the Valley of the Kings. The current North Block resource expansion drilling results will inform future Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves estimates to potentially unlock further value with additional ore feed to the mill.
Phase 3: Grow
There is significant near mine and extensional exploration upside potential at Brucejack. Phase 3 will focus on leveraging Newcrest's expertise to unlock the full potential of the district in an effort to deliver Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve growth. An aggressive drilling program is planned for the next several years with approximately 200,000 metres to be completed in calendar year 20223.
Tel: +61 3 9522 5570
Forward Looking Statements
This document includes forward looking statements and forward looking information within the meaning of securities laws of applicable jurisdictions. Forward looking statements can generally be identified by the use of words such as 'may', 'will', 'expect', 'intend', 'plan', 'estimate', 'anticipate', 'believe', 'continue', 'objectives', 'targets', 'outlook' and 'guidance', or other similar words and may include, without limitation, statements regarding estimated reserves and resources, certain plans, strategies, aspirations and objectives of management, anticipated production, study or construction dates, expected costs, cash flow or production outputs and anticipated productive lives of projects and mines. Examples of forward looking statements contained in this document include statements with respect to future production, the timing for announcing Brucejack's All-In Sustaining Cost, capital and exploration spend, the anticipated timing for delisting from the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange, the timing and ability of the Company to complete the identified initiatives in respect of the Brucejack mine. The Company continues to distinguish between outlook and guidance. Guidance statements relate to the current financial year. Outlook statements relate to years subsequent to the current financial year.
These forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company's actual results, performance, and achievements to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements, or industry results, expressed or implied by these forward looking statements. Relevant factors may include, but are not limited to, changes in commodity prices, foreign exchange fluctuations and general economic conditions, increased costs and demand for production inputs, the speculative nature of exploration and project development, including the risks of obtaining necessary licences and permits and diminishing quantities or grades of reserves, political and social risks, changes to the regulatory framework within which the Company operates or may in the future operate, environmental conditions including extreme weather conditions, recruitment and retention of personnel, industrial relations issues and litigation.
Forward looking statements are based on Newcrest's good faith assumptions as to the financial, market, regulatory and other relevant environments that will exist and affect Newcrest's business and operations in the future. Newcrest does not give any assurance that the assumptions will prove to be correct. There may be other factors that could cause actual results or events not to be as anticipated, and many events are beyond the reasonable control of Newcrest. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward looking statements, particularly in the current economic climate with the significant volatility, uncertainty and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Forward looking statements in this document speak only at the date of issue. Except as required by applicable laws or regulations, Newcrest does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any of the forward looking statements or to advise of any change in assumptions on which any such statement is based.
The estimates of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves for the Brucejack Mine deposit are qualifying foreign estimates under the ASX Listing Rules and are not reported in accordance with the JORC Code. Competent Persons have not done sufficient work to classify the qualifying foreign estimates as Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves in accordance with the JORC Code. It is uncertain that, following evaluation and further exploration, the foreign estimates will be able to be reported as Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves in accordance with the JORC code.
Ms Jillian Terry confirms that the information in this document that relates to Pretivm's Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves is an accurate representation of available technical and scientific data and studies in Pretivm's Q1 2021 MD&A announcement filed by Pretivm to SEDAR on 4 May 2021 and Technical Report dated 9 March 2020, and filed by Pretivm on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).
Ms Terry is the Head of Mineral Resource Management, a full-time employee of Newcrest Mining Limited and is entitled to participate in Newcrest's executive equity long term incentive plan, details of which are included in Newcrest's 2021 Remuneration Report. She is a Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Ms Terry has sufficient experience which is relevant to the styles of mineralisation and types of deposits under consideration and to the activity which she is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the JORC Code 2012. Ms Terry consents to the inclusion of the material in this report in the form and context in which it appears.