Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) said when its initial placement size of $A500 M ($US317.8 M) was significantly oversubscribed it decided to increase the size of the offer to $A750 M.

This was an institutional placement at $A27 ($US17.20) a share which represented a 12.9% discount to Newcrest's closing price on January 30. The shares resumed trading today at $A30/share ($US19), down $A1.

Newcrest is now the envy of the Australian bourse, achieving a massive capital raising with ease and at a solid price. Based on the added number of shares Mineweb estimates that its market capitalization today was above $A13.7 billion ($US B).

The company said the capital raised will pay off some debts and would reduce the company's gearing to a range of between 5-10%.

Some of the new capital will be applied to accelerated expansion at the Cadia East project in the Cadia Valley of New South Wales and one of the new high-grade mines at the Gosowong project in Indonesia's Halmahera Islands.

Newcrest is also mooted as a contender for OZ Minerals Ltd's (ASX: OZL) planned sale of the now mothballed Martabe gold project in Indonesia, and may also be one of the contenders for the Prominent Hill copper-gold project in OZ Minerals' fire sale.

Newcrest also announced today that it would offer shareholders the opportunity of participating in a non-underwritten share purchase plan. Eligible shareholders could subscribe for up to $A5,000 worth of Newcrest shares. Under this proposal shareholders would be paying no more than $A27/share.