The National, Friday October 23rd, 2015
THE Newcrest Lihir operation is operating at full capacity but there is a possibility that ore processes will be impacted if the lack of rain continue, the company says.
Newcrest Lihir general manager Craig Jetson said “the current dry spell has challenged a combined team of geologists, engineers, technicians, environmentalists, metallurgists and community relations officers to use Edge, Newcrest’s Business Improvement tool, to deliver an innovative plan that is keeping the project compliant with Government water permits while maintaining mill rates”.
He said the Edge initiatives had resulted in a reduction in fresh water requirement from the Londolovit River, while maintaining or increasing mill amount.
Jetson said a number of wise water initiatives were taken at Lihirwhich included improved monitoring and control at the Londo Weir by the environment and operations teams.
It includes the identification and capturing of fugitive 700 cubic metres an hour (700 m3/hr) water source in the caldera with two other similar measures to keep the mine fully operational.
Meanwhile Barrick (Niugini) Limited managing director Greg Walker confirmed that some water-intensive production activities at the mine had been temporarily suspended during the dry season.