New gold record for Simberi

SIMBERI gold production reached a record 30,430 ounces at all-in sustaining costs of $A1025/oz in the third quarter, reported by the mine’s owner, St Barbara, yesterday.

  • Staff Reporter
  • 21 April 2017
  • 05:00
  • News
New gold record for Simberi

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This was a rise in ounces compared to the December quarter (28,057oz), which had higher AISC of $1277 at the operation on Simberi Island in New Ireland Province.

St Barbara forecasts that for financial year 2017, Simberi gold production will be between 105,000 and 110, 000oz (previously 95,000 and 105,000oz) at an AISC of between $1285 and $1330/oz (previously $1330 and $1490 per ounce), with capex of between $4 and $5 million (unchanged).

On Tatau Island, also part of the Tabar group of islands in New Ireland Province, trenching, mapping and drilling continued in the southwest during the March 2017 quarter, targeting high-grade sulphide-oxide gold mineralisation.

Looking ahead for exploration in financial year 2017, most of the forecast expenditure, between $18 and $22 million, will be directed at the Simberi Island group; about 70% of exploration spend will go there, while the remainder will be allocated to St Barbara's Australian projects.

On the corporate front, it was all good news for St Barbara, as the debt-free company's cash position nudged $100 million.

During its quarterly conference call, managing director and CEO Bob Vassie faced questions over dividends and what the company would do with its cash, which one analyst predicted would double over the next quarter.

"The cash is mounting up pretty rapidly - it's a good problem to have," Vassie said.

"I think we've demonstrated our credibility over the past couple of years of not doing anything silly."

Vassie said the company would address the topic of dividends at its half-year results in August.

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