Newcrest Mining’s 75%-owned Indonesian company PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals has resumed mining at the Toguraci mine, which is part of the Gosowong operations on Halmahera Island in North Maluku Province of Indonesia.
Mining at Gosowong was suspended following a ‘geotechnical event’ at the Kencana mine on February 8 which resulted in a miner being trapped for eight nights.
During the suspension technical studies and rehabilitation work were undertaken at Toguraci and Kencana, and some low grade stockpiled material was processed. With the resumption at Toguraci, the rate of mining will slowly increase over time, with full production not expected for at least two months.
Mining at Kencana remains suspended. Newcrest says technical studies in relation to Kencana are well advanced but yet to be completed. Production and cost guidance for Gosowong for the 2016 financial year will be updated after recovery and resumption plans have been completed.
Gosowong is about 2450km northeast of the national capital, Jakarta. It currently encompasses the Kencana and Toguraci underground mines, and produces gold and silver doré. Gosowong has a current workforce of approximately 1700 employees and contractors. For the year ended June 30, 2015, Gosowong produced 331,555 ounces of gold.
On February 16 Newcrest issued a statement with managing director and CEO Sandeep Biswas stating, “It is with tremendous relief that I can advise Pak Mursalim Sahman has been safely rescued after eight nights trapped 300 metres underground at the Kencana mine. He emerged at 10.30am (local time) from a 38 metre bore hole that had been drilled down to his location from an existing tunnel above.
“I offer my heartfelt thanks to the onsite rescue teams who worked tirelessly 24 hours a day since the geotechnical event that blocked the development drive behind where Pak Mursalim was drilling blast holes.”
Two small diameter ‘life support’ drill holes that provided a means to supply water, food and a communication link for Pak Mursalim to converse with the rescue team and his family, are credited with helping to keep him in good spirits throughout the ordeal.
The ‘raise bore shaft’ through which Pak Mursalim’s freedom was gained, was but one of several extraction options carefully assessed and progressed by the rescue team.