Simberi processing plant on schedule for St Barbara

St Barbara has completed the laying of the deep sea tailings placement pipeline at the Simberi gold operation in Papua New Guinea.

St Barbara has completed the laying of the deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) pipeline at the Simberi gold operation in Papua New Guinea.

Wet commissioning of the process plant at Simberi Operations was conducted in preparation for the on-schedule commencement of full processing over the coming week.

Simberi remains on track to meet its 2022 financial year guidance with production of between 60,000 and 70,000 ounces, with the first gold pour expected this month.

Simberi shut down in May 2021 following the onsite death of a worker, while the failure of its DSTP pipeline hampered proceedings even further.

While the mill has been shut down, Simberi has established a 130 kilotonnes (kt) oxide ore stockpile on run-of-mine (ROM) pads and implemented multiple processing plant upgrades.

These upgrades include the replacement of cyanide mixing and storage tanks, refurbishment of the rope conveyor, installation of downcomers in the carbon in leach (CIL) circuit to promote slurry mixing, a new lime circuit and several process control enhancements to CIL and thickener circuits.

A new mine plan has been developed to deliver oxide material to the mill, with substantial pre-stripping work conducted over the past six months.

Total gold produced for the 2021 financial year was 328,000 ounces, with an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1616 per ounce of gold.

In April last year, St Barbara announced it will potentially increase the nameplate capacity at the Simberi operation by 10 per cent from 2.7 million tonnes per annum to three million tonnes per annum following the release of a feasibility study on the project.

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