The National, Thursday 15th December 2011
ALLIED Gold – the operator of Simberi gold mine in New Ireland province – has invested a total of US$260 million to date.
This had been in the form of plant and equipment upgrades and expansions to put in place the infrastructure for the mine’s current production rate of 72,000 ounces per annum.
Celebrating their achievement last week, the company said it had employed more than 750 nationals, as well as contributing significantly to health, education, employment and royalty payments to the locals.
The management said that it was important to note that Allied Gold has yet to declare a profit at Simberi.
Instead, it has continued to reinvest more every year for the past four to five years without making a profit, it said.
“This is the nature of our long term commitment to Simberi and its people,” the company said.
Since starting at Samat East deposit in November 2007, it had made significant contributions to the people of Simberi and to PNG.
Next year, a further US$40 million will be invested to move production towards 100,000oz of gold a year to underpin at least another decade of production along with the associated jobs and social programmes.
A feasibility study was in progress to further expand production in the coming years.
“Allied Gold is proud of its significant contribution to improving the quality of life on Simberi Island and is pleased to witness firsthand the developments on Simberi that other communities in New Ireland and East New Britain province have enjoyed,” the company said.
Allied Gold said it was committed for the long haul to partner with landowners to further develop Simberi and provide the related benefits to all stakeholders.
Simberi continued to contribute to the community through employment and training for staff at various overseas training centres and seminars on mining technology.
It also allowed for soft loans assistance to staff with death in the family.
Simberi had also contributed to the health sector by providing equipment, medication and health awareness programmes, as well as in education, family and community support, providing water tanks to all villages on Simberi Island, roads, communications such as internet access and law and order.
Since the operations of the mine, infrastructure such as a wharf was built which also allowed for local business developments to take place.