Newcrest thumped on tailings dam wall failure

NEWCREST'S market value slump since last Friday’s tailings dam wall failure at its flagship Cadia gold-copper mine near Orange in NSW has climbed past A$1 billion, writes Barry FitzGerald.

Newcrest thumped on tailings dam wall failure Newcrest thumped on tailings dam wall failure Newcrest thumped on tailings dam wall failure Newcrest thumped on tailings dam wall failure Newcrest thumped on tailings dam wall failure

A photo showing the slump in the embankment of the northern tailings dam at Cadia

That kind of happens to a company when a mine that accounts for 30% of its gold output, 85% of its copper output, and some 60% of group earnings, gets knocked out of action for an indefinite period, yet again.

It's a case of yet again for Cadia as in April last year a large seismic event (4.3 magnitude) knocked out production from one of the underground panel caves for three months, and the other panel cave for four months.

Seismic activity was also noted ahead of last Friday's collapse of a 400 metre section of the 6km long tailings wall or embankment that stores 170 million cubic metres of tailings in Cadia's northern tailings dam.

But the two seismic events the day before were much smaller (2.7 magnitude) than last April's big one, and at this stage it is n...