Australian gold miner St Barbara said on Tuesday it approved pre-investment work of $13 million for its Simberi sulphide project in Papua New Guinea, with a final investment decision expected in March next year.
The move comes after Barrick Gold earlier this month reached a deal with the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government, giving it a majority share in the Porgera gold mine as part of plans to restart operations after being shut for a year.
St Barbara said the pre-investment work would allow it to ramp up mining and drilling activities, with early construction activities expected to begin after it gets an approval on its social and environmental impact statement.
“This vote of confidence in the Simberi operations comes as we work closely with the PNG government, agencies and community as part of our ongoing consultation and engagement,” Chief Executive Officer Craig Jetson said.
St Barbara shares fell as much as a percent to hit a three-week low.
(By Sameer Manekar; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)