Gold miner St Barbara has released its third quarter (Q3) results, posting an overall steady performance, with no debts and improved production guidance, but a slight dip in gold production when compared with previous quarters.
The company produced 86,000 ounces (oz) for the quarter from its two main projects, Gwalia near Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, and Simberi in Papua New Guinea (PNG), with the former responsible for about 64 per cent of quarterly production (57,000oz from Gwalia and 29,000oz from Simberi).
This represented a 14 per cent drop in production from the previous quarter’s figure of 100,000oz of gold and a nine per cent drop from the 95,000oz figure from this time last year (Q3 2017). It was also the lowest production rate of the company’s last five quarters.
Decreases in quarterly production at Simberi were blamed on an “illegal work stoppage [that] halted production for seven days, and subsequent impact as the processing plant ramped up”, according to St Barbara’s report. St Barbara’s flagship Gwalia project is currently undergoing an extension, which remains on schedule and on budget according to the Q3 report.
Despite this, the company’s annual guidance has been revised upwards, primarily due to improved full year projections at Simberi; the PNG project, previously forecast at 115,000–125,000oz for the 2018 financial year, was recently upped to 125,000–132,000oz. Gwalia’s forecast of 250,000-260,000oz remains unchanged. Consolidated annual guidance was upped from 365,000–385,000oz to 375–392,000oz overall.