Gold miner St Barbara has suspended work at its Simberi operations, in Papua New Guinea, following illegal work stoppages by a contingent of the workforce.
The miner told shareholders on Monday that production was halted on March 7, for safety reasons, while management attempted to resolve the stoppage. Some 40% of the workforce remained at work during the illegal industrial action.
The company noted that despite efforts to resolve the stoppage, no progress had been made towards a resolution by Sunday. To breach the impasse, site management informed the workforce that the work stoppage was not in accordance with Papua New Guinea law, and that any employee who did not present for work on Monday, would have their employment terminated.
However, St Barbara on Monday deferred the termination of employees who did not present for work, after some progress was made in negotiations, and in anticipation of the arrival of representatives from the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations.
A remediation will be led by the department to address the remaining concerns behind the stoppages.
The miner expected process plant operations to restart on March 13, on a day-shift-only roster, while limited mining operations will resume with the national workforce and some local islanders and existing contractors.
Despite the stoppages, the Simberi operation is still expected to achieve its full-year production guidance of between 115 000 oz and 125 000 oz of gold.