Exploration at St Barbara is coordinated globally, with exploration activities conducted near to and surrounding each of our existing operations. Drilling is undertaken in Australia, Canada and Papua New Guinea. The aim is twofold: to maintain and extend life of mine at each existing operation, and to provide future growth opportunities.
Exploration activity is ranked via an annual targeting process and is then focused on the highest geologically and value-add targets. There is specific emphasis on more advanced targets in the near mine environment with the potential to provide additional ore sources to support operations in the short and medium term.
St Barbara has extensive land holdings for exploration around its mine in Australia, along with extensive prospective areas around its mine in Papua New Guinea. In Canada, there are 21 active exploration projects underway in Nova Scotia.
In 2020, deep diamond drilling was completed on all three islands of the Tabar Island Group in Papua New Guinea. Aircore drilling was also conducted at four Australian regional projects testing undercover targets, including Pinjin and Lake Wells JV in Western Australia, Back Creek in New South Wales and Drummartin in Victoria.
The Leonora region
Our operations in Leonora are part of the Eastern Goldfields, the premier gold province in Western Australia. The Gwalia deposit has produced more than five million ounces of gold since it was first mined in 1986. Our exploration activity in this area includes a granite-greenstone rich terrain. In the Leonora region, St Barbara has extensive land holdings, including an extensive block of tenements around our existing operations. Exploration is focused on defining additional ore sources to supplement production from our Gwalia mine.
The Nova Scotian region
Nova Scotia has a rich history of mining and has been explored for deposits since the 1860s. Between 1896 and 1903, production exceeded 20,000 ounces per year for 16 years. We’re currently exploring prospects along the Moose River Corridor and the south-west region of Nova Scotia, with the aim of extending existing planned pits and potential satellite pits. St Barbara has 21 exploration projects in Nova Scotia and more than 1,900km2 of exploration tenements. Key exploration targets are near existing deposits, with a focus on targets along strike between Touquoy and Fifteen Mile Stream.
The Simberi region
There are extensive exploration areas around our operating mine on Simberi Island, which is in one of the world’s most prospective gold regions. We’re currently exploring sulphide gold resources which would provide an opportunity to utilise our existing infrastructure for potential expansion. Our current gold resources, reserves and mining operations are spread across the eastern half of Simberi Island. The remainder of the island is covered by Exploration Licence, which also covers Tatau and Big Tabar Islands. The focus on exploration in Simberi is on epithermal gold in oxide and sulphide deposits, although there is also the potential for gold and copper beneath the Simberi volcanic stratigraphy.