Dividend potential at St Barbara

DIVIDENDS are on the agenda at turnaround story St Barbara Mines, though the gold miner still has to make one other strategic decision before shareholders can start checking the mail for cheques sent from the company’s St Kilda Road headquarters in Melbourne.
Dividend potential at St Barbara Dividend potential at St Barbara Dividend potential at St Barbara Dividend potential at St Barbara Dividend potential at St Barbara

Michael Quinn

And that is what to do with the Simberi operation in Papua New Guinea.

The company began a strategic review of Simberi and its other PNG holdings in February and is in discussions with a number of third parties “regarding a variety of options” including divestment.

A decision is due in the current quarter.

Should St Barbara remain a 100% owner of Simberi it would seem a significant capital investment in the underlying sulphide mineralisation at the project could be required.

There would thus be implications regarding dividend payments emanating from such a decision.

The move towards possible dividends comes with St Barbara expecting its cash balance to exceed its debt during the current quarter.

Total cash at bank increased by $A17 million to $154 million in the September quarter, with 92,547oz produced at all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of $935/oz.

Of that production, the company’s flagship Gwalia mine contributed 67,118oz at AISC of $774/oz.

Overall St Barbara’s production forecasts for the year remain unchanged after the first quarter.

On the exploration front, St Barbara’s Pinjin project in Western Australia is giving encouragement with current budgeting anticipated expenditure of about $3 million in the current financial year.

Shares in St Barbara were up 4.3% to $2.67 in midday trade, capitalising the company at $1.33 billion. 

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