|Barrick Gold's Porgera mine. Photo by Rocky Roe and courtesy of Mineral Resources Authority|
The largest operation of Barrick’s Australia Pacific division, the Porgera open cut and underground mine produced about 100,000 ounces of gold in the recent quarter compared to roughly 120,000oz reached in the December quarter.
Notably, the larger previous result was achieved at total cash costs of $679 per ounce.
In the March quarter, these costs ballooned by almost 22% to $826/oz.
“Production from Porgera in the first quarter was impacted by operational disruptions, including power supply interruptions,” Barrick said.
“Porgera’s production is expected to increase, starting in the second quarter.”
A variety of power pylons that were part of the Hides gas to electricity plant’s power supply to Porgera were felled during the quarter by aggrieved locals, while there was a huge disruptive raid on the mine by hundreds of illegal miners in late March.
In a separate incident during the quarter, a routine blast at the underground mine accidentally killed five trespassers who were hunting for gold.