St Barbara has experienced a drop in gold production at the Gwalia mine in Western Australia as the company focusses on the mine expansion.
The Melbourne-headquartered company produced 80,175 ounces at Gwalia during the first half of the 2019 financial year compared with 115,943 ounces in the prior corresponding period.
St Barbara attributed this to a disruption from ongoing works for the Gwalia extension project, which created competition for ventilation and trucking capacity during the half-year.
The extension project aims to expand St Barbara’s mining operations to at least 2000 metres below the surface once completed.
St Barbara also welcomed a new chief executive, Craig Jetson in February. Jetson is a former general manager at Newcrest Mining’s Cadia and Lihir mines and global technical services.
Jetson, who was excited to be in his third week with St Barbara, noted the company’s solid platform of three main operations: Gwalia, Simberi in Papua New Guinea and Atlantic Gold in Nova Scotia, Canada.
“The result for this half is softer, due to the lower production at Gwalia and Simberi,” he said.
“In coming months, we will complete the Gwalia extension project, provide an update on sulphide study work at Simberi and work continues on the Atlantic Gold growth assets.
“There is also targeted exploration near to all three operations, which I look forward to visiting in the coming weeks.”
While production dropped in Australia, St Barbara achieved a record production of 47,060 ounces in Canada thanks to improved head grade and weather conditions.
St Barbara dedicated $7.3 million of its $26.7 million of exploration expenditure to Atlantic as the company drilled “highly prospective” resources near the existing mine areas.