Following the successful AU$40 million capital raising announced, Geopacific Resources has commenced civil construction at the 1.6Moz Woodlark Gold Project in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
|Woodlark Island: Arrival of barge for the commencement of construction and development activities|
This first phase of development is designed to facilitate project execution in preparation for the construction of the process plant and the completion of project financing.
Geopacific personnel mobilised to site on 1 December 2019 for the commencement of development activities. The work program includes road upgrades, construction of a new wharf, clearing of the process plant site, relocation of the Kulumadau Village and upgrades to the Woodlark mine camp to accommodate an additional 250 people.
Industry leaders, HBS were selected to undertake earthmoving civils and have mobilised a fleet of equipment to site. Rhodes Projects, an international project manager located in PNG, have also been selected to construct the new houses and village amenities.
The teams from HBS and Rhodes Projects will begin the process of selecting and training the local Woodlark community in preparation for upcoming project development and mining activities.
Managing Director, Ron Heeks said the Company was excited to commence construction and development activities in such a short timeframe since completing the capital raising.
“Extensive work was undertaken to achieve this commencement date as we aim to deliver gold production in a safe, timely and cost-efficient manner,” Mr Heeks said.
“The reception from the local community has been excellent and they are excited to see the benefits of skills training, employment opportunities, health, and education as a result of Woodlark’s advancement.
Geopacific has made a commitment to engage as many Woodlark residents as possible for all aspects of the project, including the Kulumadau relocation. This is expected to create a skills transfer and sense of community ownership of the new village,” added Mr Heeks.
An existing village located on Kulumadau mining area will be relocated to new areas, selected by the residents, outside the mining lease. The relocation will include construction of new houses, trade stores, churches, schools and other amenities.
The Company reports that community engagement has been extensive and is ongoing.
“As part of the Company’s commitment to the community, a demonstration house was constructed in 2018. This provided the opportunity for the community to gain first-hand experience of the proposed design and for the Company to obtain feedback before reaching a final design and agreement,” explained Mr Heeks.
The village construction and relocation will be staged, with the smallest village to commence construction and relocation first. The first village, named Yalab consists of approximately a dozen households. All new houses will be constructed with long life steel framed structures and Colorbond cladding.