Dam wall collapses at NSW gold mine

A partial dam wall collapse at a major gold mine in NSW has forced its operator to temporarily suspend operations.

The Cadia mine, about 20km south of Orange, suffered a "limited breakthrough of tailings material" at one of its dam embankments on Friday afternoon.

The collapse came after two earthquakes were felt in the area on Thursday.

The site's operator Newcrest Mining said earlier inspections had revealed cracks in the wall.

The material, which was described as "a slurry of finely ground rock, water and a low level of benign processing re-agents", was contained to the southern dam.

"We believe there is no threat to personal safety," Newcrest said in a statement on Saturday.

Geotechnical engineers were engaged following the discovery of the cracks.

Newcrest said the dams had also been regularly inspected, reviewed and monitored.

"Safety is our highest priority," the company's statement said.

"We have secured the area around the tailings dam, and have implemented a comprehensive geotechnical monitoring system."

NSW regulators were notified and the Environment Protection Authority said it was inspecting.

"NSW EPA understand the tailing has been contained," a spokeswoman said in a statement to AAP.

Geoscience Australia recorded the two earthquakes as occurring southwest of Cadia on Thursday at a depth of 10km and magnitude 2.7.

Cadia is Newcrest's biggest and lowest-cost mine.

The region was also hit by a magnitude 4.3 earthquake in early April 2017, prompting suspension of operations.

There was a partial return to production in July, with remediation work and a gradual ramp-up in output affecting the first half of the financial year.

The company's first-half profit was halved to $98 million.

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