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
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
EU Funded UN Joint STREIT Programme in Papua New Guinea establishes a renewable energy-powered facility to support local government authorities in East Sepik Province, in delivering effective services to rural farmers and entrepreneurs. With generous support of the European Union, the FAO-led EU STREIT Programme officially opened a new 3 cluster office building on 10 August 2022, to host the Programme along with the East Sepik provincial divisions of Agriculture and Livestock, Cocoa Board and the National Agriculture Quarantine & Inspection Authority. The new-look office building is powered by 189 solar panels, which significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the collective dependence on fossil fuel. The solar panels supply the building with 90 KW of energy, relieving the resident agencies and authorities from relying on fossil-generated electricity for their needs, including lighting, ICT, water pumping, and temperature control. This zero-carbon-emission facility has the capacity to accommodate around 90 experts, technicians and extension service officers. Equipped with 120 batteries, the building can support staff’s operation for 36 hours in case of experiencing high cloud cover. The building, currently co-resided by the Programme and provincial agricultural bodies, will be transferred over to the East Sepik Provincial Administration at the end of the Programme and will continue to provide a sustainable base for sustainable support to agriculture-related services in the Province. Officiating the opening ceremony, His Excellency Ambassador Jernej Videtič, Head of the European Union Delegation to PNG, in his address, said: “I am happy to be here and to see that things are moving in the right direction to bring sustainable benefits to the people of East Sepik” Ambassador Videtič further highlighted that “with resources from the citizens of Europe to fund the EU-STREIT Programme in providing training, tools and support, the quantity and quality of cocoa, vanilla and fisheries products will increase. The objective is also to protect these quality products in international markets under the EU-STREIT introduced initiative of Geographical Indication.” The East Sepik Acting Deputy Provincial Administrator, Mr James Baloiloi, in his speech expressed his appreciation to the EU for funding the EU-STREIT Programme and the interventions that the Programme is doing in East Sepik and Sandaun provinces. “The STREIT Programme has gone ahead to introduce a culture of agribusiness that now enables the people of this Province and the people of Sandaun Province to have cash income that can sustain their livelihoods.” Mr Baloiloi added, “this infrastructure and building supports us and facilitates the service delivery to our people in this Province as well as Sandaun Province.” Thanking the EU for its generous funding support, Dr Xuebing Sun, the EU-STREIT Programme Coordinator, said: “the Programme has generated substantial impacts at beneficiary, local institutions and enabling business environment levels. This would not be possible with good partnership, increased ownerships and leaderships of the governments and implementing partners.” “This co-residing and close co-operation among UN agencies and their national partners in this integrated space reflect the partnership approach taken by the Programme to sustainably develop agri-enterprise activities in the region,” added Dr Xuebing Sun, adding “the new climate-friendly facility, which is fully powered by solar energy, also provides a space to welcome, advise and serve the farmers, including interested women and youth, who play very important roles along agri-food value chains”. “This kind of ‘green investment’ enables a shift to a more green economy for local institutions and infrastructure to meet cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains stakeholders” advised Anthony Bennett, the FAO Lead Technical Officer of the EU-STREIT PNG Programme. United Nations’ implementing partners supporting the FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG present in the office include the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The EU-STREIT PNG is being implemented as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as implementing partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the Country and the Pacific region. It focuses on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through increasing the economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains and strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
CPAPNG annual meet to discuss global changes
Certified Practicing Accountants of Papua New Guinea will be hosting their 23rd annual conference with about 400 participants nationwide expected to attend the two day conference organized by CPA PNG in Lae Morobe Province from August 18 to19, 2022 CPAPNG was established in 1974 and has come a long way with a lot of achievements along the way. Over the years its membership grew from mere numbers to just below 2000 which includes 40% locals and 60% non-citizens. . The CPA PNG conference is one of CPAs three significant annual events on their calendar with this year's conference theme; Is PNG prepared for the recession?" The conference will see certain key leaders in executive management roles from both the public and private sector delivering presentations in line with the conference theme. CPA PNG's Executive Director Mr. Yuwak Tau said the theme of the conference was selected because there was a decline in the global economy and the general so when that eventuates small economies tend to be affected. He added that they have basically selected the theme that was current and appropriate so that members would find relevance during the course of the conference. “The meeting is to create intellectual and interactive discussions with seasoned business leaders to present and share their ideas and experiences to find probable outcomes within their business environment and industries in times of economic uncertainty”. Some of the topics to be presented by consultants are current significant issues such as crypto currency, transport pricing, bit coin block chain technology and stress management. This were some topics that people have heard about but have not really ventured into. Mr. Tau added that it would be quite hard to measure the benefits immediately but the participants will be able to look at insights shared during the conference that would be appropriate in the areas of employment, accounting, finance, auditing and others. The conference will create an environment where participants can also share information so That they can take points to apply in their work place and industries. In relation the Kumul petroleum Holdings had also presented a cheque of K50, 000 to support the coming event at their head office. The cheque was presented by KPHL's executive General Manager Corporate Affairs, Luke Liria and was received by CPA PNG Chairman Richard Kuna. Mr. Liria said KPHL has appreciated the effort put in by CPA PNG to ensure that its members in State owned enterprises and the private sector were given appropriate level of training and as part of KPHL's corporate social responsibility and commitment they hope that their support will continue to help the organization facilitate and make sure the accounting practices is of international standards. CPA PNG's Chairman, Richard Kuna acknowledged KPHL for their support and stated that he was looking forward to seeing KPHL being a big part of the upcoming conference.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
BSP: Small to Medium Enterprises Loans reaches 60% rate.
Bank South Pacific's Financial Group Ltd Chief executive officer Mr. Robin Fleming has recently announced that the bank has granted more than K200 million as loans to small to medium enterprises under its credit scheme facility that the then Marape government had released to the bank to support Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) and local businesses during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Fleming said about 1523 customer loans have been approved, that is about 60% of loan approval rates since 2019. Prior to this announcement BSP and the Department of Commerce and Industry (DCI) had agreed to increase the maximum loan under the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) credit enhancement facility to K5 million. The previous limit was K3 million when the Government first released K100 million as security to the bank under its K200 million SME allocation for BSP to rollout the loan facility last year. Fleming stated that even though they have exhausted and rolled out the bulk of the governments relief funds for SME's they will still be running the SME loan program under its credit facility scheme “At this stage, BSP has not received the funding planned for this year but that is not preventing BSP from giving loans under the facility”. “There remains significant capacity for BSP to continue to assess, approve and funds loans under the facility”. “The agreement with the Government did provide for momentum in the SME facility to be maintained while allowing for the Government budget and funding process to be adhered to”. As part of the government SME relief funding, Commercial Banks were allocated K200 million with BSP Financial Group receiving K100 million, NDB K80 million and another K20 million was allocated to the department of Commerce and Industry BSP could not comment on how the National Development Bank (NDB) is dealing with the K80 million it received, but the intent, when discussions were initiated, was that BSP would be lending to more mature SMEs and NDB to startup ventures. In addition to enabling SMEs to access lower cost of funds through the facility with BSP, the bank has also made it a responsibility to ensure that Government funding is preserved by not approving loans that have a higher risk of default.