PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner St Barbara has revised its production forecast at both its Gwalia and Simberi operations, in Western Australia and Papua New Guinea respectively.
The ASX-listed miner was now expecting Gwalia to produce between 235 000 oz and 240 000 oz in the full 2019, compared with the previous estimate of between 245 000 oz and 255 000 oz, while all-in sustaining cost (AISC) estimates have increased from between A$930/oz and A$970/oz, to between A$980/oz and A$1 000/oz.
St Barbara has previously said that the lower production target for 2019 at Gwalia resulted from a delay in the paste aggregate fill circuit, which had initially been scheduled to become operational by the second quarter of 2019, but would now only be operational by the fourth quarter of the financial year.
At its Simberi operation, St Barbara is now expected to produce between 130 000 oz and 135 000 oz, up from the previous estimate of between 120 000 oz and 130 000 oz, while AISC is expected to reach between A$1 245/oz and A$1 300/oz, down from the previous estimate of between A$1 275/oz and A$1 375/oz.
During the three months to March, St Barbara produced 88 358 oz of gold, compared with the 89 244 oz produced in the December quarter, with Gwalia contributing 54 261 oz and Simberi 34 097 oz.
Meanwhile, St Barbara reported that the Gwalia extension project was on track for completion by the second quarter of the 2020 financial year, at a capital cost of A$112-million, up from the previous budget of A$100-million.
The extension programme will ensure that the Gwalia operation can continue to deliver strong, high-margin gold production until at least 2024, with the foundation laid for further extensions to the mine life beyond this, as well as the potential for increased production.