Newcrest is considering reopening its old open pit as an alternative location for dumping mining waste after the partial collapse of a wall between its two tailings dams.
Work at its Cadia Valley Operations site was suspended indefinitely after the collapse occurred at about 6.30pm on Friday.
A statement from Newcrest said it was now looking at alternative locations to send mine tailings, the waste products created by mining operations.
“Geotechnical analysis has commenced on possible repair options of the failure zone,” it said.
“Work has also commenced on multiple recovery scenarios including alternative tailings locations such as the old Cadia Hill open pit, which is already the subject of a pre-feasibility study to assess suitability for tailings disposal.”
Cadia Valley Operations general manager Peter Sharpe said the pre-feasibility study into the pit – which last saw mining operations in 2012 – had been going for 12 months and would continue.
Mr Sharpe said an extensive radar monitoring system had been set up at the site of the collapsed wall to check for any further movement.
“As of Saturday we had radar monitoring,” he said.
“It actually scans the wall, it scans the failed area 500 metres back from there and another 600-700 metres to the side of that.
VIDEO: Cadia Valley Operations general manager Peter Sharpe addresses the media:
“The radar, every two minutes, will detect movement of less than a millimetre, so we’ve got real-time monitoring.”
Mr Sharpe said a second radar would be on site from Monday afternoon to further enhance the capability to detect any movement.
He said there had been no environmental damage from the wall collapse.
Two small earthquakes were recorded nearby less than a day earlier, but it is not clear if they contributed to the collapse.