Smashing year of records for St Barbara

NOT content with being the best-performing stock in the ASX 200, St Barbara has notched up record production years at both of its operations.
Smashing year of records for St Barbara Smashing year of records for St Barbara Smashing year of records for St Barbara Smashing year of records for St Barbara Smashing year of records for St Barbara

Gwalia in Western Australia produced a record 267,166 ounces of gold, a third consecutive record, and above guidance of 260,000-265,000oz.

The company said the mine had a better-than-expected June quarter, producing 65,098oz.

A decrease in grade to 8.9 grams per tonne gold (from 10.2gpt in March) was offset by an increased in ore mined and milled.

The Simberi mine in Papua New Guinea also had a record year, producing 110,286oz gold, up 29% on FY15 and beating guidance of 100,000-110,000oz.

Production of 26,935oz in the June quarter marked the fifth straight quarter above a 100,000oz per annum run-rate.

St Barbara is currently conducting a strategic review of the asset prior to making a decision on whether to proceed with the $A100 million sulphide expansion.

The company's cash balance increased by $23 million during the quarter to around $137 million, even after the repayment of $28 million in debt.

The Red Kite finance facility is now fully repaid, but the company has $US168 million in notes on issue.

St Barbara has hedged 100,000oz gold for FY17 to mitigate the US dollar gold price risk associated with the repayment of the notes.

The company will release further cost and cashflow details, as well as FY17 guidance, later this month.

Melbourne-based St Barbara was the best-performing stock in the ASX 200 for the 2016 financial year, rising by more than 400% after only being readmitted to the index in March.

The company is already having a crack at retaining the crown in FY17, with its shares already up by more than 20% a week in.

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