Bad weather delays project


WORK on the Woodlark gold project in Milne Bay has been delayed due to unusual weather conditions, developer Geopacific Resources Ltd says.
Chief executive officer Tim Richards said the impact of unseasonal inclement weather has resulted in a short-term deterioration in ground conditions, limiting the ability to conduct civil works programme in preparation for construction of the CIL (carbon-in-leach) plant.
Richards said the project did not occur at the level required to ensure work streams were cost effective.
He said the rising Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases across the country affected site operations.
Richards said an increasing number of staff were either unable to travel or placed in quarantine, limiting the availability of workers on site and overall productivity rates.
“Whilst the delays at the project are disappointing, they should not take away from the quality of the underlying asset base,” Richards said. “Woodlark remains a highly attractive project, targeting to deliver over one million ounces of gold production at an average all in sustaining cost of AU$1,239/oz (about K3,100) over the life of the asset.
“We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of the delays on the project schedule, and post the completion of the project review we will update the market to the extent of the impacts on the project execution plan.
“We continue to progress exploration, with these activities continuing.
“There remains significant exploration potential at the project, which we expect will result in additional value creation at Woodlark.
“Exploration drilling will focus primarily on defining near pit potential, as well as defining other targets in our mining licence area.
“The ability to add further ore reserves will significantly enhance the metrics of this high returning gold project.”
Richards said the company enacted a Covid-19 management plan and was working with the Milne Bay health authority to limit the impact of the Covid-19 on the work force and the community.
He said Geopacific remained committed to providing assistance to ensure this critical health initiative was implemented as rapidly as possible.
The company is working on a critical path analysis to minimise the impact of the delays on the overall project schedule and to determine the impact on the budget.