Mill Closed For Maintenance

Posted by Gold FM on 04/01/2012

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Newmont Waihi Gold's processing mill is now closed for maintenance. It will be closed for the next three to four months while work is carried out.

This is due to no ore being mined from the Martha open pit in 2011 and current mining schedules indicating a gap in available ore to feed the processing plant.

The gap is estimated to last about four months between January and May in 2012.

Newmont has reassured staff there will be no layoffs or redundancies but has indicated changes during the gap.

When they announced the closure they stated "This will be a great opportunity to perform maintenance within the processing plant to ensure long term optimisation for what we see as a bright future for our Waihi operations. It will be a busy time for all maintenance personnel and staff will be needed to continue water treatment over this period. To accommodate water treatment and Reverse Osmosis operations we propose to run a crew of three operators rostered on at all times.

Our site has many long serving employees who have accumulated large annual leave balances.Currently there are employees who hold annual leave entitlements of over 30 days and in some cases over 100 days. These employees will be asked to reduce their leave balance during this period of time and in some cases may be given notice that they are required to take such leave.

Employees with insufficient leave to cover this gap period will not be required to take leave without pay. It is also foreseen that no redundancies will be required due to this gap in production.

Opportunities to undertake additional training will be made available where relevant. Operators with trade experience may also have an opportunity for a short term secondment to the Maintenance Department and there may be other opportunities to increase crew numbers for short periods due to project roles such as relines. It is highly likely that contractors and specialists will be required to assist the Maintenance Department with their increased workload during this time. However, the company will offer standard operator duties to Newmont employees first, before contractors in the first instance.

Some Newmont employees working within Metallurgy, Plant Operations, Elution Circuit or the Gold Room with a leave balance of less than thirty days may wish to seek short term secondment to another site during this time. However, transfer opportunities are limited and will be determined on a case by case basis.

Please also be aware that as mining schedules are reviewed from time to time the timing of the gap in production may change. We will provide additionalinformation as it becomes available."

There will still be plenty happening at the mill as some machinery is removed and other equipment is delivered.

Three sandblastes will be utilised during this time so staff involved in the maintenance work have been warned to take extra care.