Accident at St Barbara's Simberi Operations in PNG affects gold production

 GOLD production at St Barbara’s Simberi operations in New Ireland in Papua New Guinea was affected by a fatal accident plus a damage to the deep-sea tailing pipeline, according to the company.

The mining operation was shut down on May 21 because of the death of truck driver and then the cessation of the placement of tailings through Simberi’s deep-sea tailings placement (DSTP) pipeline after an inspection identified a damaged pipeline. According to the company’s 2021 financial report, a recovery plan is underway at Simberi, incorporating corrective actions from the mining fatality and replacement of the DSTP pipeline.

Accident at St Barbara's Simberi Operations in PNG affects gold production
Accident at St Barbara's Simberi Operations in PNG affects gold production. Photo credit. Simberi mine

“On May 21, a truck driver at Simberi was fatally injured when the truck travelled over a safety berm and fell about 40m,” the company said.

“All of St Barbara was deeply saddened by the tragic incident, with assistance provided to the employee’s family and ongoing counselling support for the Simberi team. An independent investigation was completed and the report was submitted to the Mineral Resources Authority, which also conducted an inquiry.

“The site team is currently implementing recommended corrective and preventative actions from the investigations.

“The processing facility is expected to restart towards the end of 2021 on the commissioning of the new DSTP pipeline.”

Total sales revenue from Simberi in the financial year was AU$204.75 million (about K515 million), compared to the 2020 figure of AU$238.85 million (about K601 million)).

It was generated from gold sales of 82,013,000 ounces (2020 was 102,189 ounces) at an average achieved gold price of A$2,482 (K6,254.07) per ounce (2020 was AU$2,323 (K5,853) per ounce).

Meanwhile, the group’s underlying net profit for 2021 financial year was lower than the prior year due to reduced production from Leonora and Simberi operations, lower gold sales from Atlantic Gold and higher depreciation and amortisation associated with Atlantic Gold.

Statement / The National / Pacific Mining Watch 

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