Simberi Mine in PNG switches to recovery mode

 ST Barbara chief executive officer and managing director Creg Jetson says a recovery plan for its Simberi operations in New Ireland is underway following mine shut down in May.

The mine suspended operations as a result of a fatality onsite due to an accident and damage of its deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) identified through a routine inspection. This affected its gold production.

“Turning to Simberi Operations where, despite a steady start to (Financial Year 2021), production was impacted by the shutdown of mining operations in May following the fatality,” Jetson said.

“The following month, placement of tailings through Simberi’s deep-sea tailings placement pipeline ceased following a routine inspection identified pipe damage.

“Annual gold production was thus impacted with 73,723 ounces produced this year, with milled grade of 1.35 g/t (grams per tonne) and an AISC (All in sustaining cost) of AU$2,162 (K1,336.83) per ounce.

“A recovery plan for Simberi is well underway, incorporating corrective actions from the investigation into the fatality, with mining since restarted and replacement of the DSTP pipeline underway.

“In April this year, the board signed off US$13 million (about K45 million) for pre-investment work on the Sulphide project.

“This project will increase the life of the mine significantly, allowing us to continue making a real difference to social outcomes in New Ireland.” In its plans to progress the Simberi sulphide project to financial investment decision, the company plans to further optimise some aspects of the feasibility study. The Social and Environmental Impact Statement is under review by Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority and engaged independent reviewer, Coffey.


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