By YEHIURA HRIEHWAZI
THE Simberi gold mine in New Ireland province is on track with its expansion programme to produce 200,000oz of gold per year starting March quarter next year.
Its oxide expansion plans at Simberi increased the mine’s gold deposits.
Simberi developer Allied Gold Ltd only recently came under problems of sorts in recent months at Simberi, including strike by workers, stop-work order by Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) on health, safety and welfare grounds and illegal engagement of 14 Fijians breaching Immigration and visa laws.
Despite that, Allied recently said it expects to produce a minimum of 17,500oz of gold in the third-quarter of this year’s financial year.
The company noted in a statement to shareholders on Monday that it had produced 31,528oz of gold in the six months ending Dec 31 last year.
It achieved this despite interruptions in production at its flagship Simberi gold-oxide project as a result of heavy rainfall in the September quarter and nine days of lost production owing to an illegal workers’ strike.
An independent assessment related to the debottle-necking and improvement of the existing process plant, and a study to increase plant capacity to three-million tonnes a year, would result in production increasing to about 100,000oz per year, the gold-miner stated.
This assessment was further developed into a pre-feasibility study.