By Ben Collins
WELLINGTON--Newcrest Mining (NCM.AU) said Friday that gold production in its 2018 fiscal year would fall to between 650,000 and 750,000 ounces after an earthquake at its Cadia mine in New South Wales, Australia, earlier in the year.
Previously its 2018 guidance was for between 730,000 and 820,000 ounces.
In April, the Cadia mine was damaged by a an earthquake, and the company said in an earlier production update that gold output was slightly lower as a result of "reduced ore feed", particularly as all underground mining was suspended for a week to accommodate a full belt change on one of the main underground conveyors.
The Cadia East mine remained offline into May, and Newcrest had said some production was expected to begin again early in the 2018 financial year in one of two panel caves, while work continued to assess the damage in the second one, with a definitive estimate of its timeline to resume production expected once this is completed.
Newcrest on Friday said repair work had begun and was "well-advanced" in some sections, and would cost around 25 million Australian dollars to complete (US$18 million). Pending regulatory approval, it expects production to resume soon, in the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year.
"Damage to the Cadia East underground mine infrastructure was minimal with no permanent damage detected," the company said in a statement. "The majority of work being undertaken relates to increasing the dynamic ground support capacity around known fault structures and rehabilitating ground support in areas impacted by the seismic event."
Shares in the company last traded at AU$20.20.
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