Industry briefs

ST Barbara’s Simberi gold mine in PNG not disrupted, despite security staff mass resignation reports; Coppermoly’s iron ore finds remain a mystery; Foyson Resources director resigns; and Oil Search’s Hagana-1 well drilling ahead.
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About 40 security staff from G4S resigned en-mass at Simberi, the Post-Courier reported earlier this week.

They were said to be dissatisfied with conditions and the K3.70 per hour pay rate, which was low compared to the Lihir gold mine rate.

"This is a matter between G4S and its employees," a St Barbara spokesman told PNGIndustryNews.net.

"There has been no disruption to our operations."

Early this year, Coppermoly announced some surprisingly good iron ore-grading rock samples at its Wara Creek prospect, near the southern coast of its underexplored Makmak tenement on New Britain Island.

Yet the follow up exploration effort has yet to confirm a possible source. The field work in the area of a prominent magnetic high yielded some float rock samples of up to 38.8% in iron mineralisation, below the 50-72% grades of the standout four rock samples so far.

"Owing to the ruggedness of local relief and surface weathering, source outcrop for these highly ferruginous samples have yet to be pinpointed," Coppermoly said.

"Whereas the local magnetic anomaly remains of interest, considerable further exploration activity will be required to confirm the nature of its source. This will include prospecting local area creeks and conceivably exploratory drilling."

Coppermoly is separately advancing a non-renounceable entitlement offer to raise nearly $A2 million for its initial plans to buy back 53% stakes of three West New Britain projects from Barrick Gold*.

Board sizes have reduced for various PNG juniors this year, with Foyson Resources director Cliff James resigning on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Oil Search's offshore Hagana-1 well in Papua New Guinea was at a depth of 2839m yesterday.

Drilling progress was just 89m for the week and a new drill bit was equipped for its plans to drill into the secondary Pliocene-age sandstone target.

*Coppermoly also plans to acquire the final 28% stakes off Barrick by 2018 to wholly own these projects.

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