Our Simberi Operations
Our Simberi Operations consists of an open cut mine on the northernmost island in the Tabar group of islands in the province of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea. An upcoming sulphide project has the potential to extend the life of mine by at least 10 years.
Access to Simberi is via a three hour charter flight from Port Moresby. Charter flights also stop at Kavieng (the capital of New Ireland province) and at Rabaul (in New Britain province). The 1400 metre airstrip is adjacent to the Piking Plantation some 3km from the process plant, and there is a 20metre long concrete wharf at Pigiput Bay. Fly-in fly-out staff and contractors stay at the 250-bed Pigiput camp.
Open pit mining
Operations commenced on Simberi in 2008. Current mining occurs on the eastern half of the island, covered by a 2,560 hectare mining lease (ML136). The operation is located some 900 kilometres away from the capital of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby.
Ore at Simberi is sourced from a number of open pits. The Sorowar Pit is currently the largest defined oxide pit. Ore from all of the pits is delivered to the Run of Mine (ROM) pad, where it is crushed and transported down an innovative and energy-efficient 2.7 kilometre aerial rope conveyor to a stockpile in front of the process plant.
Sulphide study to extend life of mine
The production outlook for Simberi is positive, with the prospect of an investment in additional sulphide processing capability of the sulphide mineralisation contained below the oxide pits. The sulphide project was endorsed by the St Barbara Board in May 2020 to proceed to feasibility study.
The local community and landscape
The Simberi Operations are fully integrated into the local community with high levels of local employment and ongoing community support and involvement. Almost 96% of employees are from Simberi, the nearby Tabar Islands and other parts of Papua New Guinea, creating sustainable business opportunities for local families, businesses and suppliers.
Most of the island’s coast is steep (up to 300 metres in elevation) and surrounded by a fringing reef and deep plunging seawalls given the island’s volcanic origins. Access to Simberi is via a three-hour charter flight from Port Moresby. Fly-in fly-out staff and contractors stay at the 250-bed Pigiput camp.
For full ore reserve and mineral resource details, refer to our compliance documents.