ST Barbara Limited achieved record annual production of 110,286 ounces at Simberi Gold Project during the financial year ending June 30, 2016. This was 39% higher than the 79,568 ounces produced in FY15 and exceeded the FY16 guidance of 100,000 to 110,000 ounces.
Production during the June quarter was 26,935 ounces, which was higher than the 25,433 ounces produced in the previous quarter and exceeded the annual target of 100,000 ounces for the fifth consecutive quarter. AISC was A$1266 per ounce, down from A$1404 in the March quarter.
The total volume of material moved for the quarter was a new record at 1.6 million cubic metres. The improvement was due to a full quarter utilising additional mining equipment that arrived on site in the March quarter. Ore milled was a new record, with 881,000 tonnes processed for the quarter, up from 743,000 tonnes in the previous quarter.
St Barbara expects Simberi to produce between 95,000 and 105,000 ounces in FY17 at an AISC of between A$1330 and A$1490 per ounce, with capex of between A$5 million and A$6 million.
St Barbara has received results for the first five holes of a 10-hole diamond drill program targeting high grade trench results at Bekou South. Best result was 8 metres from 12 metres @ 5.9 grams/tonne (g/t) gold, including 2 metres from 17 metres @ 17.9 g/t.
At Tatau Island prospect a 400 to 600 metre wide geophysical anomaly associated with a historical copper-gold porphyry target has been identified that warrants drill testing. The prospect was to be investigated via a single 500 metre diamond drill hole during the September quarter. Preparatory work for generating further potential copper-gold drill targets on Tatau also commenced during the quarter.
Trenching and mapping has commenced in southwest Tatau Island in preparation for drill testing high grade oxide and sulphide gold mineralisation.
A strategic review announced in February 2016 of St Barbara’s PNG assets, including Simberi, has progressed. The purpose of the review was to determine how best to maximise shareholder value from the Simberi assets.
Discussions are under way with a number of third parties regarding a variety of options. Options under consideration include:
- Continued ownership, exploration and development;
- Potential joint venture arrangements, and
- Divestment of some or all of the assets.