Holmes steps down as OceanaGold CEO, COO Sullivan now acting chief
by Philippine Resources - September 08, 2021
Photo Credit: OceanaGold
OceanaGold Corporation advises that Mr. Michael Holmes has resigned as the President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of the Company, as well as from the Board of Directors, effective September 8, 2021. The Board has engaged a leading executive search firm to commence a global search for the Company’s next President and CEO. In recognition of leadership continuity, the Board has appointed Mr. Scott Sullivan who has recently joined the Company as Chief Operating Officer, to act as the Acting President and CEO of the Company.
Mr. Ian Reid, Chairman of the Board said “On behalf of the Board, I wish to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to Michael for his service to the Company. Michael has had a long and valued career with OceanaGold, having joined the Company as Chief Operating Officer in July 2012. As President and CEO, he demonstrated tremendous resilience and commitment to the Company despite the challenges of an operating environment disrupted by the onset of a global pandemic.”
Mr. Reid continued to say, “Under Michael’s leadership, the Company delivered on key growth milestones including mine life extensions of the Macraes operation, advancement of the Waihi District projects and the Haile Underground. Most significantly, the renewal of the Didipio FTAA wouldn’t have been possible without Michael’s tenacious and focused leadership. The achievement of this strategic objective is expected to generate strong free cash flows for our shareholders while continuing our legacy as a responsible, multinational gold miner.”
Mr. Holmes said, “It has been a privilege to serve the Company over the past 9 years. I am proud to have led a team of passionate and dedicated mining professionals who are committed to responsible mining and best ESG practices while setting up the business to deliver long-term value for shareholders. Whilst it was a difficult decision to leave OceanaGold, I am very proud of what we have achieved and more importantly in the significant value embedded in the business. I wish everyone all the best.”
Mr. Scott Sullivan is a mining executive with over 30 years of broad-based industry experience spanning Australia, New Guinea, Africa and North America. More specifically, he has diversified experience in strategic planning of mining operations and smelters, project development and commissioning, mine optimisation, restructuring and expansion, sustainability and government relations. Prior to joining OceanaGold, Mr. Sullivan was CEO of Paladin Energy Ltd, and prior to that, General Manager of Newcrest’s Telfer Gold Mine, CEO of Attila Resources (now New Century Resources) and Managing Director of Minbos Resources. Mr. Sullivan is 2 also a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Mining with first class honours and a Master’s in Business Administration.
Mr. Paul Benson, who will succeed Mr. Reid as Chairman of the Board of the Company on October 1, expressed his appreciation for Mr. Holmes’ leadership, particularly through the challenges posed by COVID-19. He said, “I look forward to working with Scott Sullivan in the Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO roles. I have known Scott for over 30 years since we first worked together at the Renison Tin Mine in Tasmania. Scott is an exceptional mining engineer and has the skills and experience to drive OceanaGold’s operating performance to the next level. Our focus will continue to be on maximising the value of our existing operations while seeking new opportunities to drive profitable growth.”
The Company continues to make good progress with respect to the Didipio restart with current ramp-up schedule ahead of original estimates. The Company commenced the trucking of gold-copper concentrate as several shipments have arrived at the port and several more on the way. The Company continues the technical review and enhancements of the Haile Mine however, operational performance is tracking to achieve full year guidance. The New Zealand operations have recommenced full operations with ramp-up of the Martha Underground continuing.
Abe Almirol - June 21, 2021
OceanaGold opens health facility for Covid-19 patients
OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI) has opened an isolation facility for patients infected with Covid-19 at its host community in Didipio here. The facility is also open for patients from its neighboring villages. Inaugurated last June 15, the Didipio Family Health Center (DFHC) can accommodate up to 15 people with separate room allocations for confirmed cases, suspected cases, and close contacts individuals. The facility is complete with medicine for patients with respiratory problems. It is also equipped with oxygen and rapid antigen test kits. OGPI will also allocate one of its company nurses to take special regular duty at DFHC. Following the inauguration of the facility, the four barangay health workers of Barangay Didipio have already transferred to the newly refurbished DFHC facility. The initiative came following the surge of Covid-19 cases in Didipio and neighboring barangays soaring up to 147 cases since March. In his remarks during the facility inauguration, Mayor Romeo Tayaban emphasized the importance of an established isolation structure while noting the continuous rising of cases in the region. “Let’s make this DFHC useful for the next generation,” he said. The mining company allocated around P1.6 million for the procurement of equipment, medical supplies, and the much-needed repairs of the health facility. DFHC will be operated by the barangay LGU with the supervision of the municipal health office here. Village acting chair Henry Guay, in coordination with MHO and OGPI, is now working on the accreditation of the facility by DOH so that PhilHealth members could avail of their benefits when confined to the facility. Dr. Elizabeth Joaquin, municipal health officer of Kasibu, looks forward to the development of DFHC as a hospital in the future so it can cater more patients even from other areas of Kasibu. Engr. Edgar Rivera, officer-in-charge of OGPI, emphasized the importance of mutual cooperation amon the LGUs, community, and private sector in overcoming the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. “As long as OGPI is here, we continue to work with our stakeholders to provide necessary support in the achievement of their goals,” he said. The Covid-19 infections continue to create havoc as more areas outside the National Capital Region become areas of concern. Cagayan Valley was placed under the more restrictive MECQ until the end of the month.
Philippine Resources - July 14, 2021
OceanaGold Announces Didipio FTAA Renewal
OceanaGold Corporation today advises that the Philippine Government has renewed the Didipio Mine Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (“FTAA”) for an additional 25-year period, beginning June 19, 2019. The renewed FTAA reflects similar financial terms and conditions while providing additional benefits to the regional communities and provinces that host the operation. Michael Holmes, President and CEO of OceanaGold said, “we are pleased to confirm the renewal of the Didipio Mine’s FTAA and thank the Philippine Government for their endorsement and renewal. We have worked through the renewal process in partnership with the Government and regulatory agencies. We look forward to commencing restart activities and continuing to work in partnership with our regulators, communities, employees, and all stakeholders to contribute to the Philippines’ post-COVID-19 economic recovery.” The Company has maintained the mine and associated facilities in a state of operational stand-by. The Company’s first operational priority is the rehiring and training of its Philippine workforce, which will include a focus on safeguarding workers from the current risks associated with COVID-19. The Company expects to provide additional details on the restart and resumption of normal operations at Didipio, including the timeline and an update to Company’s 2021 guidance, in due course. The Company plans a staged restart of operations with milling to recommence as soon as possible utilising stockpiled ore of which the operation has approximately 19 million tonnes available. The Company aims to achieve full underground production capacity within twelve months. Once fully ramped-up, the Company expects Didipio to produce approximately 10,000 gold ounces and 1,000 tonnes of copper per month at first quartile All-in Sustaining Costs. Didipio is a major direct and indirect employer in the provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya and a significant contributor of socio-economic benefits for the local and national economies. The Didipio Gold and Copper Mine operates to the highest environmental and social standards and has been recognised as one of the most responsible in the country. Renewal Terms The FTAA was renewed on substantially the same terms and conditions and includes the following modifications: The equivalent of an additional 1.5% of gross revenue to be allocated to community development Reclassification of Net Smelter Return to be an allowable deduction and shared 60% / 40% rather than wholly included in government share Listing of at least 10% of the common shares in OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (“OGPI”), the Company’s Philippine operating subsidiary and holder of the FTAA, on the Philippine Stock Exchange within the next three years OGPI shall offer for purchase by the Philippine Central Bank not less than 25% of its annual gold doré production at fair market price and mutually agreed upon terms Transfer of OGPI’s principal office to a host province within the next two years The additional 1.5% allocated to community development will take the form of increased contributions to communities in the region and provincial development projects. While the existing fund for Social Development and Management Program will continue to be provided for the host and neighbouring communities, 1.0% of the additional 1.5% will be allocated to community development for additional communities and 0.5% to the host Provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.
Marcelle P. Villegas - September 30, 2019
OceanaGold: Philippine Court of Appeals Sets Hearing Date for Injunction
(Photo courtesy of Mr Jason Magdaong, OceanaGold Phils. Inc. - “Didipio Mine: The Renewal of the Philippines’ First FTAA”) According to OceanaGold Corporation (Melbourne), the Philippines Court of Appeals in Manila had set last 18 September 2019 as the hearing date for the company's application for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction. This is part of the company's appeal against the Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Court ruling of denying OceanaGold Phils. Inc.’s (OGPI) request to end the unlawful restraint of operations. The Provincial Local Government Units of Nueva Vizcaya (PLGU) has been impeding access to the mine site since 1 July 2019. This is in response to an unlawful directive from the Governor to 'restrain any operations of the company. OGPI points out that the regulatory authority over the Didipio Mine rests with the National Government. They also clarified that the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160) does not grant the power of authority to the Provincial Governor or any local government officer to restrain any aspect of the Didipio operation.  OGPI continues to work with the National Government to finalise the renewal of their Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) and remains open to the opportunity to engage with the Provincial government and work together in the best interest of the local stakeholders. The Company remains strongly committed to operating in accordance with the law and will always comply with its responsibility under its contract with the Philippine Government.  Mr Mick Wilkes, President and CEO of OceanaGold said, "The Company has successfully developed and operated the Didipio Mine in the Philippines with a focus on delivering socio-economic benefits to local communities utilising international best practices and gaining a strong social license to operate. OceanaGold has established sound and collaborative relationships with regulatory authorities and stakeholders based on mutual respect." "While this process is taking some time, we will always operate in line with our values and commitment to responsible mining, and this means working transparently with the Philippine regulatory authorities to maximise the speed of the renewal. We are encouraged by the engagement with the government to date as we continue to work towards a mutually-acceptable path forward on the FTAA renewal." "I would like to recognise our world-class Philippine workforce of 1,500 workers who have remained focused on safety and preserving optionality at site during this uncertain time. We are proud to have positively contributed to the Barangay of Didipio, Province of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino and neighbouring communities since 2012."  The Didipio Mine of OceanaGold Phils. is an underground gold and copper mine located across the provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya. The mine operation has received numerous awards such as two Presidential Awards for being the most environmentally and socially responsible mining operations in the Philippines. Overseas, the company was awarded the 1st ASEAN Mineral Award for best practices in sustainable development. OceanaGold's Didipio mine site (Philippines) is considered one of the safest gold mining operations in the world because for the past two years, the company has deployed state-of-the-art automated and digital underground mining technology. For the past years, OGPI’s Didipio project has been providing significant socio-economic assistance to the province of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino. Other than providing jobs to 1,500 workers (97% are Filipinos, 59% are from local communities) the company also provides several thousands of additional livelihood opportunities and indirect jobs through partnerships with cooperatives and social development organisations. As an international company, OceanaGold Corporation is a mid-tier, high-margin, multinational gold producer with assets located in the Philippines, New Zealand and the United States. The Company's assets encompass the Didipio Gold-Copper Mine located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. In New Zealand, OceanaGold Corporation operates the high-grade Waihi Gold Mine, the Frasers mine, and the largest gold mine in the country at the Macraes Goldfield.  In the United States, the Company operates the Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina. The Haile Gold Mine is a top-tier, long-life, high-margin asset. OceanaGold Corporation also has a significant pipeline of organic growth and exploration opportunities in the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions. From their media release, the Company states, “OceanaGold has operated sustainably since 1990 with a proven track-record for environmental management and community and social engagement. The Company has a strong social license to operate and works with its valued stakeholders to identify and invest in social programs that are designed to build capacity and not dependency.”  “In 2019, the Company expects to produce between 500,000 to 550,000 ounces of gold and 14,000 to 15,000 tonnes of copper at All-In Sustaining Costs ranging between $850 and $900 per ounce sold.”  #DidipioMine #OceanaGoldPH #ResponsibleMining #Philippines Reference:  OceanaGold Corporation Media Release - 13 Sept. 2019, retrieved from - https://www.oceanagold.com/investor-centre/news-releases/ Photos: Courtesy of OceanaGold (Phils.) Inc. - Retrieved from - https://www.oceanagold.com/downloads/images/
Philippine Resources - December 01, 2021
A grand slam in responsible mining
Photo credit: Hinatuan Mining A grand slam win for a mining company simply means being the best in class in its responsible conduct of business; in its forest management and environment enhancement and protection; its social responsibility programs and in providing safety in the workplace and the communities. Hinatuan Mining Corp. (HMC), a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) sweeps major honors this year from the country’s most prestigious award-giving body in the mining industry – the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA). “It’s our first time and it’s a grand slam! We still can’t believe it but that these awards were accorded to us during this most difficult time of the pandemic, makes this moment doubly exulting, everyone was emotional when the news first broke, this is the reason for our existence, says Engr. Francis Arañes, HMC’s Resident Mine Manager. HMC, with operations in Hinatuan Island, Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte, takes home the Presidential award for surface mining operations; the Best Mining Forest in the Metallic category; the winner of the Safest Surface Mining Operations; and the winner of the Safest Mining Operation; plus, the individual awards of Best Surface Safety Inspector and Best Surface Miner accorded to HMC’s employees, Aldrin L. Resullar and Jennifer Q. Inting, respectively. The PMIEA is the highest accolade awarded to a mining company. The evaluation and assessment for this year’s awardees encountered extra challenges with the threats of COVID-19 in the backdrop where movements were limited, the economy threatened, operations delayed, and bringing services to the communities were among the biggest challenge to the company’s community workers. HMC had set its eyes on these awards for years. The company remains steadfast, focusing on specific goals that the award giving body monitors and measures, such as the actual number of hectares to be rehabilitated as mandated by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), even going outside of their areas of responsibility in supporting the Philippine National Greening Program (NGP); building a robust forest within the mine site, highlighting eco-tourism programs; setting up its host and neighboring communities to sustainable economic development programs; among other things. And to ensure that compliance is above and beyond its mandate, HMC underscores the efficiency of reporting, of transparency, giving importance to its Information, Education and Communication (IEC) programs. “The bar in honoring mining companies has been set even higher, what with the added focus on the principles of ESG – Environment, Social and Governance – in the midst of ongoing debates about climate change,” says Engr. Aloysius C. Diaz, NAC SVP and Head of Production. Diaz says the miners, HMC in particular, are now even more cognizant of peer reviews because the world has become more critical in holding the industry accountable for a greener, healthier, and safer future. PMIEA evaluates all facets of a mining company’s responsible and sustainable business practices, keenly focusing on environmental protection and management; and ensuring the health and safety of employees and the total wellbeing of the people in the communities that they serve. The Hinatuan mine site, also known as the “Tagana-an Nickel Project”, is located in Hinatuan Island, Barangay Talavera, municipality of Tagana-an, province of Surigao del Norte. Its area of operations is within the Surigao Mineral Reservation.
Philippine Resources - December 01, 2021
Nuclear, solar eyed as alternatives to PH energy mix
Photo: Bataan nuclear power plant Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is considering nuclear and solar energy as a possible alternative or additional sources of energy in the country. Gatchalian, Senate energy committee chairman, said he favors “in principle” smaller nuclear reactors instead of the bigger ones for flexibility and safety. “Small ones are more flexible and safer. Safer in the sense that it is smaller, deployable, and has the technology that can use nuclear wastes. Of course, it is still in the development stage,” he said in a radio interview on Monday. He said small nuclear reactors can produce energy from 10 to 150 megawatts. Gatchalian, however, does not consider reviving the Bataan nuclear power plant as it will be too risky and too costly to rehabilitate the facility. He said many are also using solar energy with some big companies putting up solar power plants. “I believe it could be part of the energy transition because nuclear is emission-free but the risk is where to put the wastes and if it encounters a problem, the cost is too high. Solar deployment is still a challenge because it is still quite expensive,” he added. Gatchalian said he will file a bill on energy transition following the Department of Energy’s (DOE) move last year banning new coal power plants to accelerate the country’s shift to cleaner energy. “We cannot hasten the energy transition because we will have no source of energy… The energy transition can be 10 years or longer but the important thing is it’s a scientific process to determine how we can transition out of fossil fuel into renewable safely, reliably, and securely,” he said. He added that right now, the country’s energy needs are still good with fossil fuel but it is imperative to jumpstart the transition due to the increasing population and industries. Gatchalian was here on Sunday to turn over his donation of 5,000 sets of personal protective equipment and 50 sacks of slippers to the Region 1 Medical Center. By Hilda Austria Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - December 01, 2021
Gas drilling in Recto Bank should push through: Pimentel
Photo credit: Inkl The chair of the House Strategic Intelligence Committee on Tuesday said oil drilling activities in Recto Bank must proceed as scheduled amid rising tensions with China. Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said the Sampaguita gas field could yield up to USD18.2 billion, or around PHP910 billion, in future royalties for the government, based on a 60 percent net share. “We have no choice but to carry on with the drilling activities because the Sampaguita gas discovery in Recto Bank has the potential to energize the entire national grid – not just Luzon – for the next 20 to 30 years,” Pimentel said. Pimentel said Sampaguita is “an untapped value-changing asset” that would be valuable to the country’s future energy security with up to 4.6 trillion cubic feet of gas, while Malampaya, which has been producing gas for the last 20 years, has only 1.6 trillion cubic feet of residual gas at best. “There is even one study suggesting that the entire Recto Bank has up to 20 trillion cubic feet of potential gas in place,” Pimentel said. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled in July 2016 that Recto Bank is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, as defined under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea. By virtue of the ruling, Pimentel said the Philippines enjoys absolute rights to exploit all resources in the seamount. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency