Newcrest's $2 billion Cadia East project faces legal action from private rivals

Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) is accused of licensing breaches by a private exploration company seeking to scupper the gold mining giant's $2 billion Cadia East project.

Private company Gold and Copper Resources (GCR) filed a claim with the NSW Land and Environment Court on Thursday asserting that some of the Cadia East project's infrastructure is situated on land for which Newcrest lacks mining leases.

The Cadia East project situated near Orange in central-western New South Wales is slated for completion by the year's end, and is expected to ramp up annual production at Cadia by 800,000 ounces of gold and 90,000 tonnes of copper.

The Australian Financial Review reports that the action filed by GCR is the latest in a concerted legal bid by the company to thwart the Newcrest project.

GCR has filed four claims against Newcrest in the Land and Environment Court over the past two years in relation to Cadia East, with respect to matters including breaches of confidentiality and disputes over exploration licenses for sites adjacent to Cadia.

GCR is one of the largest private exploration companies in New South Wales iwth rights to 2,200 square kilometres of territory.

The company also enjoys formidable backing and business ties. Key shareholders include Jeremy Barlow, the former director of Arrow Energy, former Rio Tinto boss Leigh Clifford and venture capitalist Mark Carnegie.