Shareholders profit as Crater mine prepares to reopen

Crater Gold’s shares rise as it readies to restart PNG mine operations

Esmarie Swanepoel | Mining Weekly

The share price of ASX-listed Crater Gold Mining jumped by 20% on Thursday after the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government approved the restart of mining at the Crater Mountain site. Crater was hoping to restart operations before the end of the month.

The company was ordered to cease mining activities in late December, pending the conclusion of a PNG Mines and Safety Inspectorate inquiry into the circumstances surrounding a November vehicle accident, which claimed the life of the driver.

Crater told shareholders on Thursday that a notice of relaxation of the cessation order had now been issued by the inspectorate, allowing the company to restart operations, pending a number of conditions, including the constant supervision of workers, the exclusive use of mechanised systems to load and transport material within the mine site, an adequate risk assessment and continued communication with the inspectorate.

The relaxation order was valid until the end of September and could be withdrawn at any time. Crater told shareholders that the company had attended to all the issues raised by the inspectorate and, once an internal review had determined that all conditions of the relaxation order had been satisfied, production would restart.

The company had been hoping to produce some 100 000 oz of gold from the Crater Mountain project in 2015.

A Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant resource of 24-million tonnes, grading 1 g/t gold for 790 000 oz of contained gold had been defined at the main zone of the Crater Mountain project, which includes four prospects.

Crater shares were trading at a high of 12c a share on Thursday, up from a low of 10.5c a share.

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Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

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