St Barbara taking $230-275M write down of Canadian assets

St Barbara’s Atlantic operations in Nova Scotia. Credit: St Barbara.

Australian owner-operator St Barbara (ASX: SBM) is taking $230 million to $270 million non-cash write down of its Atlantic division that includes of the Touquoy gold mine in Nova Scotia. The write down will betaken in the fiscal year 2021, which ended on June 30.

The impairment largely relates to the delay in the start of mining due to permitting issues at the Beaver Dam, Fifteen Mile Stream and Cochrane satellite deposits. Delays have occurred at both the provincial and federal levels.

St Barbara says a revised environmental impact statement (EIS) for Beaver Dam is in progress with federal approval anticipated in March 2022. When it is approved, the company will apply for industrial approval from the province, which would allow construction to begin with the start of mining in December 2023.

The EIS for Fifteen Mile Stream is expected to be complete in September 2023, with first production scheduled to sometime in 2025.

Initial production from Cochrane Hill was scheduled for January 2023, but the permit delays and the pending decision on the Archibald Lake study have pushed the date back to 2028.

The Torquoy gold mine reached commercial production in March 2018 and was acquired by St Barbara in mid-2019. The mine produced 106,663 oz. of gold in the 2020 fiscal year. With the acquisition of Moose River Resources earlier this year, St Barbara now owns 100% of the Torquoy mine and nearby exploration properties in the Moose River Corridor.

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