By MALUM NALU
Morobe Mining Joint Ventures (MMJV) anticipates a feasibility study on the giant Golpu copper-gold project in Morobe province gold project to begin in the July quarter of this year, according to general manager-sustainability and external relations David Wissink.
He said this yesterday when asked to comment on what major plans the company has for this year.
“With Wafi- Golpu the focus is on discussions with stakeholders on the Golpu pre-feasibility study (PFS) which was finished last year,” Wissink told The National.
“After these consultations take place and a final nod from the joint venture partners (Newcrest and Harmony), we anticipate the project team being in a position to start the feasibility study in the July quarter of this year.”
Wissink said the plan called for 24 months for the feasibility study for just Golpu copper and gold, as Wafi was a separate ore body (gold cap) which was being studied at present.
Harmony and Newcrest last October announced a significant upgrade to the ore reserve estimate for the Golpu copper-gold deposit, following the completion of a technical PFS.
|Prime Minister Peter O’Neill (second from right) listens to a geologist explains the reserves for the Wafi-Golpu project during a sire visit last October.-Picture courtesy of MMJV|
The PFS supports an updated ore reserve estimate containing 12.4 million ounces of gold and 5.4 million tonnes of copper.
The study also confirms Golpu as a world‐class deposit with an expected mine life of more than 25 years.
Wissink said this year MMJV planned to create value for its shareholders and stakeholders.
Shareholders are Newcrest and Harmony, while stakeholders are landowners, Bulolo local level governments, Bulolo and Huon Gulf districts, and Morobe province.
“We’ll do that by safely, and in an environmentally-sound manner, improving production and plant throughput at Hidden Valley, progressing Golpu to feasibility stage and continuing our exploration programme focusing on some exciting prospects in Huon Gulf and Bulolo districts.
“Another core part of the MMJV business is community engagement and on this side of the business, we have extensive consultation programmes happening with the Wafi – Golpu project, an MOA (memorandum of agreement) review for Hidden Valley at some point in the first half of the year, and of course the continuation of our community and regional development programs including the Watut River footbridge projects, community malaria programme in partnership with the Oil Search Health Foundation, education programmes and agriculture focusing on cocoa, coffee and fresh produce.”
Regarding, MMJV’s other project at Hidden Valley, Wissink said: “Hidden Valley is still ramping up production as it takes time to get all the moving parts of a mine (including people) working as efficiently as possible.
“The environmental side of the operation is doing fine with the tailings storage facility performing as planned.”