Gold, Latest news, Simberi

St Barbara locks in a plan for success

Despite facing challenges in diesel fuel and currency availability, St Barbara has a plan to keep its Simberi gold operations a step ahead.

Simberi’s gold production for the fourth quarter of the 2024–25 financial year (Q4 FY24) was anticipated to surpass 20,000 ounces (oz) following it achieving access to another higher-than-average grade ore zone in the Sorowar pit in June.

Unfortunately, St Barbara said the Sorowar ore zone will not be accessible until Q1 FY25, resulting in more typical ore grades of around one gram per tonne (g/t) of gold for processing plant ore feed for June.

The inability to achieve the targeted face position in Sorowar arises primarily from lower-than-targeted total mining movement volumes due to poor excavator availability.

St Barbara has now adjusted its production expectations to 14,000oz in Q4 FY24 rather than the targeted 20,000oz.

Full year production and cost guidance for FY24 has been revised to 52,000–56,000oz, previously 60,000–70,000oz.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for St Barbara. The company is planning on expediting the acquisition of an additional excavator that was originally planned for FY26.

The hope is the additional excavator will mitigate the potential impacts from excavator fleet availability issues due to any further supply chain difficulties.

St Barbara is also planning to boost its fleet performance with the arrival of two 60-tonne Volvo articulated dump trucks.

The Volvo trucks will be trialled ahead of the selection of the most appropriate trucking fleet for the proposed expansion for sulphides mining from FY28.

St Barbara said the purchase of a skid-mounted sizer, suitable for both oxide ore and future sulphide ore, is also advancing.

The company will aim to use the sizer unit provide better protection for the overland conveyor and grinding mills to further reduce vulnerability to downtime.

While it has been a quarter of challenges for St Barbara, the miner is determined to get operations back on track in the new financial year.

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