NEWCREST Mining Limited – which owns and operates the Cadia gold and copper mine – issued this statement in response to the partial collapse of a dam wall on Friday ...
“In the late afternoon of Friday 9 March, Cadia identified a limited breakthrough of tailings material at its northern tailings dam embankment.
This release has been contained within the southern tailings dam.
We are monitoring the impact carefully, and have observed no environmental damage.
We believe there is no threat to personal safety.
An area of the embankment slumped following the earlier identification of cracks in the dam wall during a regular inspection.
When these cracks were noticed the site team quickly engaged an independent consultant geotechnical expert to assist our own Cadia geotechnical engineers with an inspection and preliminary assessment of the embankment.
The Cadia tailings dams have been regularly inspected, reviewed and monitored; and have been fully certified to industry standards by independent third parties.
Safety is our highest priority.
As a precaution Newcrest stopped depositing tailings into both dams on 9 March.
Operations were subsequently progressively suspended pending further investigation. We have secured the area around the tailings dam, and have implemented a comprehensive geotechnical monitoring system.
We are actively engaging local landholders and residents downstream of the tailings facility, keeping them informed about what has occurred.
The NSW regulators have also been notified, and we will work closely with them as we complete the review, which will be supported by independent experts.
The tailings material is a slurry of finely ground rock, water and a low level of benign processing re-agents.
We are assessing the impact on our operations, and will provide an update when further information is available.”