Cadia mine workers have been assured they will continue to receive full pay as the company deals with the partial collapse of the wall between its two tailings dams.
A statement from Newcrest’s Cadia Valley Operations said as mining and processing operations were currently suspended, sections of the workforce were being redeployed to deal with containment and recovery activities.
“Permanent and embedded contract operational workers at Cadia will continue to receive their full pay and entitlements until further notice,” the statement released on Wednesday said.
“Those not currently engaged in recovery activities will remain on call to assist as needed.”
Embedded contract operational workers include those employed by agencies such as Pybar.
It said the company would provide updates as to the reopening of the mine.
“At this stage, Cadia does not have a specific time-frame for the recommencement of mining and processing operations,” it said.
With the Cadia mine producing about 60 per cent of Newcrest’s earnings, the importance of finding a long-term solution is vital to the company.
The Newcrest share price has taken a hit since the breach occurred.
It has fallen from $21.58 when trading opened on Monday, the first trading since the breach, to $19.96 at 4pm on Wednesday.
Blayney Shire Council general manager Rebecca Ryan said council was confident Newcrest had the situation under control and was glad a road below the dam had reopened.
“We have confidence in their processes and they’ve done a great job in keeping everyone informed,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Newcrest said radar monitoring of the 400-metre-wide breach of the six-kilometre wall was continuing.
The collapse in the wall occurred at 6.30pm last Friday after staff noticed cracks in the area earlier in the day.
Newcrest then began to progressively close down its operations at the mine south of Orange.
On Monday General manager Peter Sharpe said there had been not been any environmental damage and the spill was “not toxic.
“Cadia does not use a chemical reduction process to recover gold – that is, the gold extraction process does not involve the use of substances such as mercury, cyanide and arsenic,” he said.