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An aerial shot of the Havieron boxcut.

Newcrest Mining and Greatland Gold have opened the underground decline at the Havieron gold-copper project in Western Australia.

The project is a joint venture (JV) between Greatland Gold and Newcrest, with the latter allowed to earn up to a 70 per cent interest in the project once exploration and development milestones are achieved.

The regulatory approvals for Havieron’s construction were provided on December 29, 2020 with the project rapidly advancing development.

The decline will develop the Havieron orebody along with a drilling program that is currently underway at the site.

Newcrest oversees exploration activities at Havieron.

Greatland Gold chief executive officer Shaun Day said the opening of the underground decline is a significant milestone for the project and the next step will involve a pre-feasibility study.

“This is a momentous step in the development of Havieron as a world-class gold-copper mine. I am delighted by progress on site and this fast-tracked milestone is indicative of the potential scale of the deposit and the opportunity seen by our partners Newcrest,” he said.

“By providing access to the top of the orebody, the decline sets Havieron on course to become a large, multi-commodity, bulk tonnage, underground mining operation. Alongside the ongoing growth drilling, the next key milestone will see the completion of a pre-feasibility study and we are on track to deliver this in the second half of 2021.”

The Havieron project is located around 45 kilometres east of Newcrest’s Telfer gold mine.

Under the joint venture, any material extracted from Havieron will be processed at Telfer.