Simberi Gold Mine to Consider Sulphide Ores

By: PNG Business News November 11, 2020

St. Barbara's Simberi gold mine in New Ireland are going back to mine material that was previously not economically feasible due to the current price of gold

This was revealed by general manager Jason Robertson, who added that the mine was presently investigating a transition from the processing of oxide ore to sulphide ore, where sulphide ore previously encountered problems which would require a new mining process and plant.

Robertson added that the concern lied with the changes to the Mining Act that might introduce additional expenses and costs, such as an increase in cost in the process of sulphide ore. He said that in the case of St. Barbara, the concern was the suggested introduction of a mine waste levy.

“We have worked to make our current waste disposal process completely environmentally friendly,” he said. “But if too many additional costs are introduced then we would have to finish mining the remaining oxide ore and then shut the mine down. St Barbara is currently investing US$150 million (K511mil) in PNG and they need to have some assurance their project will be able to survive.”

Meanwhile, New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan had a strong view of the changes in the Mining Act, adding that all he wanted was for the community to have a better life after the mine.

“Now is the time to have this discussion because we do not want to experience another Porgera situation in New Ireland,” Sir Julius said, adding the conversation between the New Ireland government and St. Barbara should begin now.

“The New Ireland government has repeatedly proposed that ownership be returned to the people,” he said. “Mining companies must make a reasonable return comparable to international profit margins.”

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