Illegal strike interrupts St Barbara mine

St Barbara’s Simberi gold operations in Papua New Guinea have been impacted by an illegal work stoppage initiated by part of the mine’s workforce.

The miner halted production at the site last Wednesday for safety reasons while management attempted to understand and resolve the stoppage.

Around 40 per cent of the workforce remained at work during the stoppage, according to St Barbara.

In an ASX announcement, the company said site management had engaged with workers and community leaders.

“Despite discussions with representatives seeking to address the stoppage, there had been no progress towards a resolution by yesterday,” St Barbara reported.

“To breach the impasse, yesterday site management informed the workforce that as the work stoppage was not in accordance with PNG law, any employees who did not present for work this morning could have their employment terminated.”

The company added that some progress had been made in negotiations, with the possible termination of employees who did not present for work today deferred pending tomorrow’s anticipated arrival of representatives from the PNG Department of Labour and Industrial Relations.

“It has been agreed for a mediation to be led by the Department seeking to address the remaining concerns behind the stoppage. It is anticipated that the mediation will occur this week,” St Barbara stated.

Up until the suspension, Simberi had produced 93,000oz of gold during the financial year. The company expects that the mine will achieve full-year guidance of between 115,000–125,000oz of gold.