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Newcrest Wins Reprieve on New South Wales License

Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s biggest gold producer, will get another chance to hold on to an exploration license over 120 square kilometers (30,000 acres) near its fourth-largest mine, after a ruling by judge.

New South Wales Land and Environment Court Judge Nicola Pain, after quashing Newcrest’s license renewal in a May 17 ruling, said in her final order this week that the license will remain in effect until Resources Minister Chris Hartcher disposes of the renewal application.

“We have not lost our license,” Kerrina Watson, a Newcrest spokeswoman, said today in an e-mail. “It remains in our ownership until the reconsideration.”

Newcrest has held an exploration license over the land near its Cadia Valley operations, southwest of Orange, since 1991. The license was renewed for a seventh time on March 14, 2011 with an expiry of May 20, 2014, according to the May 17 judgment. Gold & Copper Pty challenged the renewal on March 16, 2011, claiming it was void or invalid.

Pain upheld Gold & Copper’s objections, ruling the state government failed to provide sufficient reasons for granting the renewal.

The case is Gold and Copper Resources Pty v Minister for Resources and Energy. 80736/2011. Land and Environment Court New South Wales (Sydney).

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