Miner completes DSTP pipeline


St Barbara Ltd has completed on schedule the laying of the deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) pipeline, according to a company statement.
It said the commissioning of the process plant at its Simberi operations in New Ireland was in preparation for the start of processing over the coming week.
“Simberi remains on track to meet its financial year 2022 guidance with production of between 60,000 and 70,000 ounces, with the first gold pour expected this month,” it said.
“While the mill has been shut down, Simberi has established a 130kt oxide ore stockpile on run of mine pads and implemented multiple processing plant upgrades.
“These upgrades include the replacement of cyanide mixing and storage tanks, refurbishment of the rope conveyor, installation of downcomers in the carbon in leach (CIL) circuit to promote slurry mixing, a new lime circuit and several process control enhancements to CIL and thickener circuits.
“A new mine plan has been developed to deliver oxide material to the mill, with substantial pre stripping work conducted over the last six months.”
According to St Barbara last year, an inspection of Simberi’s DSTP pipeline by a remotely operated vehicle observed a failure of the pipeline at a water depth of around 54 metres.
The cause of the failure is not known.
Simberi operations had since ceased placement of tailings through the DSTP pipeline.
The Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority (Cepa) was notified of the pipeline failure and an investigation began.
No environment harm has been reported, nor has pluming of tailings been observed.
Sampling and monitoring activities are ongoing.
An investigation team will ascertain the cause of the failure and expedite options for repair and/or replacement.