He said the March quarter was great for Simberi, with a record high gold production of 30,430 ounces.
Other results included:
- Record low all-in sustaining cost of A$1,025 (K2,383) per ounce;
- plant recovery improved from 83 per cent in the December quarter to 85 per cent in the March quarter due to ongoing improvement in ore and waste mining identification and selection, improved quality ore, as well as a number of incremental operational improvements in the processing plant;
- forecast gold production for financial year 2017 at Simberi has increased to between 105,000 and 110,000 ounces (previously 95,000 and 105,000 ounces) at a lower AISC of between A$1,285 (K2,989) and A$1,330 (K3,094) per ounce (previously A$1,330 (K3,094) and A$1,490 (K3,466) per ounce);
- exploration continued on Simberi and Tatau Island during the March quarter. Trenching, mapping and drilling continued at Southwest Tatau targeting the Mt Tiro, Mt Siro and Seraror prospects; and,
- The St Barbara group (through its wholly-owned PNG subsidiary Nord Australex Nominees PNG Ltd) entered into an Option and Farm-in Agreement with Newcrest PNG Exploration Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Newcrest Mining Limited) in November 2016 for copper-gold porphyry exploration on nearby Tatau and Big Tabar Islands.
Vassie said the St Barbara group was now debt-free, with the final US$20 million (K62.89million) principal of US notes repaid in March.