Record gold production for St Barbara

ST BARBARA has posted encouraging exploration updates and signed off on record production for the March quarter, with the news lifting its share price more than 20%.
Record gold production for St Barbara Record gold production for St Barbara Record gold production for St Barbara Record gold production for St Barbara Record gold production for St Barbara

The company produced 111,288 ounces for the first three months of the year, beating the previous 97,917oz record set in December.

The Gwalia mine near Leonora produced 76,954oz while the Simberi project in Papua New Guinea notched up 9473oz for the month of March and a record 22,498oz for the quarter.

Breaking down the results, Gwalia's production hit an all-time record on the back of a mined grade of 9.7 grams per tonne while Simberi was net cash flow positive for the first time since the acquisition.

The King of the Hills project, also in the Leonora area, produced 11,836oz.

All up the performance saw St Barbara up financial year guidance for Gwalia from 200,000-210,000oz to 235,000-240,000oz while the forecast for King of the Hills dropped slightly from 50,000-55,000oz to 45,000-50,000oz.

Consolidated guidance has been upgraded from 320,000-345,000oz to 350,000-370,000oz.

The strong performance helped St Barbara's cash balance rise $A40 million to $108 million, with costs and other details set to be reported later this month.

In other parts of the business, the company extended its gold price protection with 100,000oz from Simberi forward sold at $1600 per ounce.

The gold is deliverable from July 2015 to June 2016.

The quarterly results come on the back of new results from deep drilling at Gwalia.

Intercepts included 5.3m at 21 grams per tonne gold from 2121m including 2m at 54.9gpt.

Other results included 7.7m at 3.6gpt from 2185m, with the drill holes displaying geotechnical features similar to those encountered higher in the mine.

Elsewhere, six significant bedrock electromagnetic conductors were detected at the Centenary project about 60km north of Leonora.

Follow-up drilling for the conductors is planned for the June quarter.

St Barbara has operations in Western Australia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

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