St Barbara Simberi Operations has completed its community engagement efforts for advancement of its Sulphide Project.
The last meeting was attended by executives of the Big Tabar Landowner Association and the Local Level Government Ward 5 Member Tiothy Puru.
Sentiments for the mine life extension remain positive with all 12 key community stakeholder groups including the Simberi Mining Area Association (SMAA), Tatau Landowner Association (TLA) and Big Tabar Landowner Association (BTLA) expressing the need for the mine to continue operating and creating benefits. These include business development, enterprise creation and employment opportunities for the local people.
“The broad community benefits and employee opportunities remain topical and important conversations throughout the consultation process,” said Walter Pondrelei, St Barbara Simberi Operations Community Relations Manager.
St Barbara expects the next phase of the consultation process to begin mid-June with the government’s public consultation forum.
Conservation and Environment Protection Authority and Mineral Resources Authority have distributed copies of the Social Environment Impact Study (SEIS) report to New Ireland’s community and government leaders in preparation for the forum, which will be conducted at the Tabar Island group, Namatanai District, Sentral Niu Ailan Local Level Government at Konos and in Kavieng with the provincial government and administration.
St Barbara Simberi Operations will actively engage in this initiative and support the various levels of government in their efforts to approve the mine life extension.
“We at St Barbara are committed to a collaborative consultation process with our key stakeholders and government(s). Our believe is that we can all be genuine partners in generating sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and biodiversity as well as employment and training benefits from a longer mine life for Simberi Operations.
It is a legacy we will be proud to leave behind for our community and the people of Papua New Guinea,” said Acting General Manager Wayne Patterson.
Simberi mine’s sulphide project is an extension of existing operations on Mining Lease 136 utilising existing infrastructure together with a new flotation plant to process sulphide ore.
St Barbara is investing up to USD170 million to establish the additional processing facilities.
Extension of the mine will allow the company to build on benefits already created. Since 2008, Simberi mine has generated over K300 million in income taxes, production levy, royalties, compensation, education and health services, biodiversity programs and community infrastructure for Tabar islanders and Papua New Guinea.