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St Barbara reports deep sea tailings pipeline failure at Simberi, withdraws mine’s guidance

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(Kitco News) - Australian gold miner St Barbara (ASX: SBM) reported today that a recent scheduled inspection of a deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) pipeline at its Simberi operations (Papua New Guinea) by a remotely operated vehicle observed a failure of the pipeline at an approximate water depth of 54 metres.

The company said that the cause of the failure is not known at this time. Simberi operations has ceased placement of tailings through the DSTP pipeline. The Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority (CEPA) has been notified of the pipeline failure and an investigation has commenced.

According to the statement, no environmental harm has been reported, nor has pluming of tailings been observed. An investigation team has been established to ascertain the cause of the failure and expedite options for repair and / or replacement.

The company also said that following the fatality on 21 May 2021, the investigation by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) remains ongoing, with the company’s full cooperation. The MRA has advised that specific activities relating to site maintenance, grade control drilling and drill and blast activities can resume, however mining operations are not yet permitted to restart.

St Barbara added that Simberi was on track to achieve forecast FY21 guidance of between 80,000 and 90,000 ounces. However, in light of the uncertain timeframe for MRA approval to restart mining, together with the DSTP pipeline failure, the company has determined to withdraw FY21 guidance for Simberi.

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