St Barbara Releases Quarterly Report

by PNG Business News - July 28, 2022

Photo credit: St Barbara

St Barbara Managing Director and CEO Craig Jetson said, “St Barbara has finished the year strongly, achieving both our production and cost guidance at a site and group level for FY22. Against the headwinds of cost inflation and COVID-19 impacts on our workforce availability as well as associated travel restrictions this is a rewarding result. It was achieved with improved safety performance with a lower TRIFR of 3.4 injuries per million hours worked.

Today we announce a further increase to our extensive Mineral Resource base in the Leonora province with the release of our inaugural Mineral Resource for Old South Gwalia. This initial Mineral Resource is the first instalment from Old South Gwalia from between 600 metres below surface down to 1000 metres below surface. Further resource extension drilling is planned for the coming year to grow a productive new mining front at Gwalia.

Management's focus on Gwalia and the Leonora province plan is generating early rewards with expansion of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves and our expanded footprint across the region. We continue to execute our Leonora Province Plan. St Barbara is central to any regional consolidation with the largest Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve base in the Leonora region, a host of near term growth options, growing production from the new Zoroastrian underground mine and a cash generating processing facility which is expected to increase its processing capacity by 50% to 2.1mtpa. Following our acquisition of Bardoc, the assets have been promptly assimilated with Zoroastrian on track for first ore at the start of FY24.

Our development of the Leonora Province has provided invaluable insights that we are now applying in considering alternative pathways for scheduling our Atlantic Province projects, together with plans to maintain production at the Touquoy mine. With travel restrictions lifted, we have strengthened our relationships with the Government and First Nations people in Nova Scotia. In collaboration with the Government, a new permitting approach has commenced and has already yielded promising results with two permits already granted. These results provide encouragement that outstanding permitting issues can be addressed and the potential of Atlantic can be realised. Furthermore, our decision to place Simberi Operations under strategic review is aligned with our clear focus on leveraging the highest value options for the St Barbara Group.

We have made progress on plans to consolidate our corporate offices as we strive to deliver the appropriate level of support for our sites and optimise our cost base. Having already identified $5 million in ongoing cost reduction we have an aspiration to increase cost savings to $10 million in FY23 with a further $10 million in FY24.”


The full report can be found HERE

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PNG Business News - January 27, 2022

St Barbara Releases Quarterly Report and Simberi Sulphide Project Update

Photo credit: St Barbara St Barbara Managing Director and CEO Craig Jetson said, “The end of the December FY22 quarter marks a momentous period for St Barbara. Through the announcement of our acquisition of Bardoc Gold, we took decisive steps towards securing Leonora’s future as a significant processing hub in the Western Australian goldfields. The acquisition uniquely positions St Barbara to add value to the high quality Bardoc ore bodies by processing the ore at the Leonora processing plant. We also had some very encouraging drilling results in the Old South Gwalia ore body, which has the potential to add new mining fronts higher up in the mine. By the end of this financial year we are targeting an updated Mineral Resource for this area.” “In conjunction with this, we continue to progress the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) on Tower Hill, Harbour Lights and associated processing plant expansion. Mine optimisations and designs were completed. The selection of open pit mining as the preferred development approach for Tower Hill means that we increased the resource base by 600koz. Infill drilling is underway at Tower Hill and Trevor Bore and will start at Harbour Lights this coming quarter.” “The end of the quarter also heralded the completion of laying the DSTP pipeline at Simberi. The success of this project has meant that Simberi has been able to re-commence production in early January 2022.” “Production from Leonora has been stronger than we anticipated which helps offset lower production guidance for the Atlantic operations which has continued to be impacted by delays in obtaining routine waste rock permits.” “Importantly, these significant growth and production achievements were underpinned by strong safety results in the quarter with TRIFR down 25% to 2.7 per million hours worked.” Overview Group gold production for the December quarter was in line with the prior quarter. Production was slightly lower at Leonora in the second quarter due to lower grade, however the impact of this was largely offset by higher feed grades at Atlantic. Drilling at Old South Gwalia has identified an area between 600mbs and 1000mbs, which has the potential to add mining fronts at significantly shallower depths. Drilling will continue to test the South Gwalia Series between 600mbs and 750mbs with an updated Mineral Resource expected to be completed in Q4 June FY22. Completion of the Simberi DSTP pipeline was achieved during the December quarter, enabling the restarting of the process plant in early January 2022. Group All-In Sustaining Cost for the September quarter was 6.5% higher at A$1,587 per ounce compared to the prior quarter in line with slightly lower production at Leonora. At 31 December 2021, St Barbara total cash at bank position was A$94 million (up from A$42 million on 30 September 2021). Total debt owing under the Company’s syndicated facility on 31 December 2021 was C$80 million and A$50 million. A drawdown of A$50 million on the Australian tranche during the quarter was a prudent measure taken to maintain liquidity in a volatile operating environment due to potential COVID-19 interruptions. The COVID 19 pandemic is beginning to cause issues sourcing required labour and equipment for the Atlantic and Simberi operations. The company remains proactive and pragmatic in its approach to the management of the pandemic. It notes that there has been tightening of the labour market in Western Australia as a result of border closures. St Barbara has developed contingency plans to minimise any potential interruption which could be caused when the West Australian border does open. With the safety of its people and communities paramount, St Barbara continues to work with and follow the advice of State and Federal governments and health authorities. Atlantic has continued to experience delays in obtaining routine waste rock storage permits and when combined with significant rainfall events in the December quarter and the updated forecasts from the improved block model and associated mine plan, FY22 production for Atlantic has been revised down to 55koz to 65koz (previously 65koz to 85koz). Due to the reduction in production per ounce AISC guidance is now expected to be between A$1,650 to A$1,850 per ounce (previously A$1,305 to A$1,515 per ounce). Production guidance for Leonora is expected to be towards the top end of its range while Simberi’s production is expected to be towards the bottom end of its guidance range. As a result, Group production guidance range has been narrowed to be between 305koz and 335koz (previously 305koz to 355koz). Simberi Operations The laying of the replacement DSTP pipeline was completed, with production recommencing after the quarter end, with the first gold pour occurring in the third week of January 2022. While the mill was offline a 130kt oxide ore stockpile on ROM pads was established. Multiple processing plant upgrades were also conducted during this time. These upgrades included the replacement of cyanide mixing and storage tanks, refurbishment of the rope conveyor, installation of downcomers in the carbon in leach (CIL) circuit to promote slurry mixing, a new lime circuit and several process control enhancements to CIL and thickener circuits. Over the last six months the mine has been reconfigured to optimise waste haulage distance which has increased haulage capacity of ore to the 3.5Mtpa capacity processing plant. A new mine plan has also been developed targeting higher grade material and also enabling the batching of oxide, transitional and sulphide material which is expected to result in better recoveries than previously anticipated. With the installation of the DSTP pipeline achieved late in December 2021, gold production is expected to be at the bottom end of the guidance range for FY22. The prior AISC guidance range had been calculated on the potential for production in the first half and was based on 12 months of cost divided by production from November to June. With production commencing in January 2022, the AISC guidance has now been recalculated based on production and cost for six months and includes the cost of ore stockpiles built in the first half. AISC cost guidance has been lowered to A$1,600 to A$1,850 per ounce (previously A$2,465 to A$2,650 per ounce). Total capital expenditure guidance for Simberi remains the same, however A$10 million has been reallocated out of Sustaining into Growth capital expenditure to more accurately reflect accounting for the DSTP pipeline which is able to support a sulphide expansion. Simberi Sulphide Project update The pre-investment phase continues to advance well with procurement of long lead items underway. The front end engineering and design (FEED) work continues and construction packages will be issued to market early in Q3 March FY22 for competitive pricing and identification of key contractors for the project. Submission of the FEED study to the Board for the final investment decision remains on schedule for the end of March FY22. The Social and Environmental Impact Statement review has been completed by the Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority (CEPA). Anticipated approval of the permit remains unchanged for Q3 Mar FY22, and pending approval, first sulphide ore production is expected in Q2 December FY24.   Full report can be found HERE. Article courtesy of St Barbara 


PNG Business News - April 06, 2022

Four months paid maternal leave for St Barbara employees

To fulfill its commitment to diversity and inclusion, St Barbara, operator of Simberi gold mine in New Ireland, has announced a generous parental leave package for its employees. Women staff can now take four months fully paid maternity leave to recover from pregnancy and childbirth while bonding with their babies while the men are entitled to 15 days paid paternity leave. Employees only must complete their six month-probation to be entitled to the parental leave. It is believed, the four-month fully paid maternity leave incentive is the first of its kind in Papua New Guinea and both men and women employees are applauding St Barbara for introducing the ground-breaking policy. Some employees who have successfully completed their probation are already benefiting from the scheme while others like accounts clerk Sainian Wurlima looks forward to making the most of the opportunity when her turn comes. Sainian, who has been working at the Simberi operation since 2009, is five months away from having her third baby and is overwhelmed by the good news. “I am very grateful for this incentive. On behalf of my family, I say a big thank you to St Barbara for giving recognition to us, women employees, and understanding the challenges we go through in juggling our motherly role and career,” said a very happy Sainian who flies to the mine to work from Kokopo in East New Britain. “It is a great incentive for mothers and babies, especially those with complications. I believe it is a first in PNG and I say how lucky my women colleagues are for being employed by St Barbara,” said accountant and local Tabar islander Paskalis Maradangoi. Payroll officer Margaret Kupo described the parental leave as a unique advantage for mothers and dads and reminded her colleagues to give back to the company in return. “Our company has given us women a unique blessing. I call on fellow women staffers to enjoy it, but not abuse it,” said Margaret. “Once you return to work after four months of resting and bonding with your babies, do your part by remaining committed to your work and giving it your best.” St Barbara, an ASX 200 company, is the only Australian mining company to be recognised as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). The company has received this citation for seven consecutive years running and is an initial signatory to the WGEA Pay Equity Pledge. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Craig Jetson says the latest citation confirms the Company’s commitment to addressing pay equity and ensuring gender equality in recruitment, promotions, and reward and recognition. “I feel privileged to have joined a company that is leading the mining industry when it comes to gender equality. As the only mining company to receive the citation again this year, I strongly encourage more resource companies to participate in the WGEA Employer of Choice program to discover the benefits diversity brings to innovation, engagement and performance.”

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PNG Business News - August 12, 2022

Going Green: FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG Programme provides green-powered facility to local agricultural authorities to effectively service rural farmers

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Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022

CPAPNG annual meet to discuss global changes

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Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022

BSP: Small to Medium Enterprises Loans reaches 60% rate.

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