Location: Morobe Province - 90 kilometres south-west of Lae
Expected annual production: + 250,000 ounces of gold - 4 million ounces of silver
Expected mine life: 14 years based on current reserves
Mining method: open pit
Workforce: Around 2,000 employees and contractors (95% Papua New Guinean’s with 50% from local communities)
Ownership: Morobe Mining Joint Venture (50% Newcrest Mining: 50% Harmony Gold)
The mine operates in accordance with a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between HVJV, local landowners and all levels of government. This agreement sets out a preference for employment of landowner and local residents ahead of those from other provinces and offshore employees when qualifications and experience are equivalent.
As per the MoA, employees are categorised into five tiers:
Tier 1 – Landowners from the Villages of Kwembu, Winima and Nauti
Tier 2 – Wau/ Bulolo residents in the Bulolo District
Tier 3 – Morobe residents
Tier 4 – PNG Citizens
Tier 5 – Non-Citizens
Most employees live in the accommodation village on site while in the work period of their rosters. 15% of the total permanent workforce at Hidden Valley, are women. Ninety percent are from PNG, and over half come from local communities.
Construction of the Hidden Valley open pit gold and silver mine began in 2007 with the bulk of the work completed towards mid 2009. First gold pour commenced only recently in June 2009 and the project is currently fully operational.
Annual production at Hidden Valley mine is expected to be around +250,000 ounces of gold and 4 million ounces of silver. Operating at full design capacity, Hidden Valley which currently has a 14-year mine life, will process an estimated 4.7 million tonnes of ore annually from two open pits located approximately 5 kilometres apart: the smaller Hamata pit which exploits the Hamata gold ore body, and the larger pit which exploits the Hidden Valley and Kaveroi (HVK) gold and silver ore bodies.
Ore is delivered by truck to the Hamata and Hidden Valley crusher stations. Crushed Hamata ore is delivered by conventional conveyor to the primary stockpile and Hidden Valley ore is delivered via the 4.5 kilometre overland pipe conveyor extending from the HVK pit to the Hamata processing plant to the same stockpile.
The processing plant utilises conventional gravity and CIL circuits for gold and a Merill Crowe circuit for silver. The mill has been constructed to process a nominal 4.2 Mtpa of ore from the two pits, with de-bottlenecking of the plant planned up to 4.7 Mtpa. When fully commissioned, the process plant will treat 4.7 million Tonnes of ore per year. Hidden Valley is also the first major open pit mine in PNG to build a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) to contain all tailings permitted under the new Environment Act 2000.
Safety is of the greatest importance both on and off site. It is the culture of every mine in the world and one that Hidden Valley mine intends to excel at.
Our goal is to make Hidden Valley mine, the safest in the country.
Everyone that visits the mine site is issued with personal protection equipment (PPE) when entering the mine site.
Community & Regional Development
Hidden Valley Mine identifies Health, Education, Agriculture and Infrastructure Development as the four pillars of its five year community and regional development plan, for the people of Wau / Bulolo district and Morobe Province.
These include roads, bridges, classrooms and clinics, water supplies, health and sanitation awareness, training in fish farming, cocoa and coffee growing, and other extension services.