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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 25) - The Simberi gold project in the New Ireland Province remains on track for first gold production in October this year.

Operator and 100 percent owner Allied Gold said in a statement yesterday that the company had spent AU$56.53 million [PGK147 million; US$50 million] and committed AU$66.44 million [PGK168 million; US$59 million] to the project thus far, representing 68 percent and 80 percent respectively of the total capital expenditure budget.

[PIR editor’s note: Allied Gold Ltd. is based in Welshpool, Western Australia. The Simberi gold project is located in the Tabar Islands Group, consisting of Simberi, Tatau, Mapua and (Big) Tabar islands, north of the New Ireland Province. All of the currently identifi ed gold deposits are located on the northernmost Simberi Island.]

Accommodation village and wharf have both been completed and fully operational and the ball mill and scrubber have been completely installed by early this month. The company said it has been pleased by recent exploration results and exploration drilling was set to start in the September quarter with delivery and commissioning and deployment of four drilling rigs anticipated during the period.

"Some construction delays have been experienced due to difficulties in obtaining work permits and visas for the workforce of the structural and mechanical installation contractor, as well as inclement weather and rough seas which have delayed the sinking of the deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) pipeline," the company said. "During the quarter construction of the wharf was completed and commissioned for use. This, combined with the purchase of the MV Lady Geraldine barge, has assisted in mitigating the risk of major project delays brought about by late delivery of structural steelwork.

"A major milestone has been achieved with the completion of the installation of the ball mill and scrubber in early July. Work in the processing plant area is now focusing on the erection of the leach tanks and steelwork."

Since the end of June, Allied Gold Limited had AU$12.4 million [PGK32 million; US$11 million] cash in hand, which represented 3.7 cents per Allied Gold Limited share.

There were also 24,778,249 shares issued during the quarter, on conversion of listed and unlisted options. Up to 2,040,000 unlisted options were also issued to Mirabaud Securities Limited.


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