Allied gets the all-clear

ALLIED Gold says gold production at its Simberi mine should recommence later today, but that its production guidance for the March quarter will be down to about 10,700 ounces.
Allied gets the all-clear Allied gets the all-clear Allied gets the all-clear Allied gets the all-clear Allied gets the all-clear

The delay in production was caused by repair work done at the mine, most noticeably to a tailings mixing tank which the PNG Department of Environment and Conservation requested more information about.

The mine has been out of action for four weeks while the repairs were being done, which were completed on March 11. The DEC then requested more information about the repairs, which has taken until now to be deliberated on.

Following the visit of two experts from the DEC, the company believes that its response and actions are in line with world's best practice, meet the department's requests and go beyond Allied's obligations under its operating permits.

Concerns were raised about toxic waste leaking from the damaged mixing tank, with the company lashing out at PNG media and being forced to deny reports that massive cyanide leaking had caused irreversible damage to the marine environment.

Allied Gold head of investor and media relations Simon Jemison told Radio Australia that there was very little chance that waste leaked at Simberi could have had an impact on marine life.

"This is an onshore activity so there was no dispersal or leaking of any materials into the sea that we're aware of. We have environmental monitoring in place, it's always part of our program, we take our environmental responsibilities seriously," he said.

"But, contrary to some of the media reporting out of one particular PNG newspaper, we can't believe and can't see how there can be an impact to the marine environment given the activity is one that we noticed on land, onshore, about 100 metres away from our process plant."

Despite rumblings about landowner discontent, most notably from local MP Byron Chan who called for Allied's licence to be revoked, the company says it has the full backing of landowners.

"Allied Gold continues to receive unequivocal public support from the local landowners [and] its 600 employees who eagerly anticipate a return to work and the recommencement of gold production," the company said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Allied will draft in members of the project construction team from Gold Ridge in April to assist in the ramping up of Simberi into a 100,000 ounce per annum producer.

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