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The Simberi gold mining operation on Simberi Island in Papua New Guinea's New Ireland Province commenced gold production in early 2008. The mine underwent significant expansion during 2013 that lifted its production rate to 3.5 million tonnes of gold bearing ore a year. The expansion program included the installation of a SAG mill that will have the capability of producing 100,000 ounces of gold annually. The Simberi gold mine is an important contributor to the economy of Papua New Guinea with significant exploration potential that could see it grow its potential in the future. The Simberi gold mine is owned and operated by St Barbara Limited, an Australian based gold mining and exploration company, through its subsidiary company, Simberi Gold Company Limited.

The Simberi Mine Consists of Seven Open Pits
The Simberi gold mining operation is presently restricted to the eastern part of Simberi Island that is covered by a 2,560 hectare mining lease. The mine consists of seven open pits; Botlu South, Pigibo, Pigput, Samat East, Samat South, Samat North and Sorowar. The Sorowar open pit is the largest of the oxide pits currently being mined. During the first few years of mining the stripping ratio was less than 1:1. This was carried out with 'free dig' bulk mining that used the usual truck and shovel method of mining. Mining plans into the foreseeable future suggests the 1:1 strip ratio will continue while mining the oxide cap persists.

An Innovative 2.7 Kilometre Rope Conveyor Takes ore From the Sorowar Feeder to the Gold Processing Plant
Mineralised ore from the open pits is taken to the run of mine (ROM) pad known as the Sorowar feeder. It is then crushed and taken by a highly energy efficient 2.7 kilometre rope conveyor to another stockpile at the gold processing plant.
The Simberi gold mine processing plant uses the conventional CIL (carbon in leach) process. The Simberi mine has five CIL tanks. In 2010 the processing plant underwent significant 'de-bottlenecking' that increased mill output to 2.4 million tonnes of ore annually. The plant was further expanded in 2012 to lift production to 3.5 million tonnes of ore a year by installing a SAG mill that has the potential to lift gold production to 100,000 ounces a year. The company is currently looking at further increasing throughput to five million tonnes a year. To achieve this it would have to add more tanks and tailings thickeners to enable it to recover process water as well as assist with the disposal of the extra tailings. Simberi Gold Company Limited is currently installing bunker oil capacity that will allow it to replace its 6MW diesel fuel generator plant.

Mine to be Upgraded to Handle Future Sulphide Ore

When the oxide pits are depleted at the Simberi mining operations the company will continue to mine the significant reserve of sulphide ore that lies beneath the oxide cap. A study is currently underway that is examining the potential expansion of the plant to give it the ability to process sulphide ore.

The Simberi gold mine is accessed via a three hour plane flight from Port Moresby. The main airstrips are at Kavieng, the capital of the New Ireland Province and at Rabaul in the New Britain Province. The Simberi mine airstrip, that is 1,400 metres long, is near the Piking plantation, three kilometres from the gold processing plant. There is also a cargo ship, 'Lady Geraldine,' that calls in at the Pigiput Bay 20 metre long concrete wharf. The fly-in-fly-out mine workers and contractors are accommodated at the 250 bed Pigiput camp.

St Barbara Limited

Incorporated in 1969 as Endeavour Oil, was predominately focused on mineral exploration in WA. Then operations were focused on gold production in the early part of the last decade at Meekatharra in WA.Following management changes in 2004 the company's strategy was to be an Australian based gold more


St Barbara Limited
Level 10, 432 St Kilda Road
Melbourne, VIC 3004

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Melbourne, VIC 8003



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