ogpi, oceanagold, gerard-bond, delia-albert, women-empowerment, mining "OceanaGold Philippines on Inclusion and Renewed Excitement for the Mining Industry" — News — Philippine Resources Journal

OceanaGold Philippines on Inclusion and Renewed Excitement for the Mining Industry

By: Marcelle P. Villegas June 28, 2024

During the 75th Philippine Mining Club Luncheon, OceanaGold Corporation’s President & CEO, Mr. Gerard Bond, was the keynote speaker. (Photo by Marcelle P. Villegas)


For the 75th Philippine Mining Club Luncheon, the keynote speaker was Mr. Gerard Bond, President & CEO of OceanaGold Corporation. This was held on March 8, 2024 at Dusit Thani Manila.

 “This is the first Philippine Mining Club Luncheon this year and as you can see, we have a full house. I think this reflects the renewed excitement about the mining industry,” said Atty. Patricia Bunye who was the emcee for the event.

“I would also like to note that today, March 8, is International Women's Day...as you may know the theme of this year's celebration for Women's Day is 'Inspire Inclusion'. It is therefore auspicious that our Mining Luncheon is being held on Women's Day because we expect to have not only productive and insightful discussions on the mining industry, it is also an opportunity for us to recognize and celebrate the valuable contributions of women to the mining industry, both locally and globally.”

The event was graced by foreign dignitaries and government officials, namely: Sec. Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, Secretary for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Atty. Juan Miguel T. Cuna, Undersecretary for Field Operations and Supervising Undersecretary for Mines and Geosciences Bureau; Deputy Governor Mamerto Tangonan, Payments and Currency Management Sector of the Bangko Sentral and Pilipinas; H.E. David Bruce Hartman, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines; H.E. Peter Kell, Ambassador of New Zealand to the Philippines; H.E. Delia Domingo Albert, Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs; and Mr. Alfredo Guevarra, Representative of the Australian Embassy.

H.E. Delia Domingo Albert, Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs

On her opening remarks, Ambassador Albert said, “Innovation, sustainability, and inclusion continue to be at the core of our discussions when we talk about the future of our mining industry in the Philippines. As you know, and while not a 'miner', I have been one with the mining industry for the past years advocating for meaningful change and supporting responsible mining. Though the mining industry has come a long way, we must continue to evolve and adapt to the call of the times. It is essential, and is now the norm, to prioritize sustainability in mining operations while driving innovation to drive progress and growth.”

“Speaking of inclusion, our industry's progress must extend beyond technological advancements. One vital aspect of this evolution is the inclusion of women in mining. Though we have improved in this regard in the Philippine mining industry, women are still a minority at 12% according to the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative scoping study in 2020. More needs to be done in promoting gender diversity in mining and recognizing the invaluable contributions of women in the industry.”

From her speech, Ambassador Albert mentioned that women comprise 23% of the OceanaGold workforce at the Didipio site, performing roles from support services to technical roles in underground mining, processing, geology among others.

She also mentioned about a petite female employee, Marcela Abalos, who is a truck driver from the Didipio Mine. Ambassador Albert said that seeing a picture of this lady driving a big truck in Didipio Mine is remarkable. "Her photo was definitely one of an empowered woman! I understand that Marcela continues to work in her role contributing to the successful operations of the Didipio Mine.”

Lastly she said, "I am of course equally pleased that a fellow Cordilleran, a woman IP from the Twali and Applay tribes in Ifugao and Mountain Province in the person of Joan Adaci-Cattiling, is President of OceanaGold (Philippines) and former President of Diwata - Women In Resource Development, Inc.”

The emcee, Atty. Patricia Bunye, describes Ambassador Albert as someone who “…epitomizes women empowerment and has definitely made her mark in the world.” Ambassador Delia Albert is the first woman career diplomat to become Secretary (Minister) of Foreign Affairs in Asia.  She represented the Philippines in Switzerland, Romania, Hungary, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Commonwealth of Australia.”

As Chair of the United Nations Security Council in 2004, she introduced the agenda “The Role of Civil Society in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding” highlighting the role of women as peace makers.

She is also the founder of Diwata - Women In Resource Development, Inc. 

For her meritorious and exceptional service to the country, Ambassador Albert was conferred the Presidential Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu, and, in 2004, was given the title Bai-A-Rawatun sa Pilipinas for assisting Muslim women in their search for peace and development.

Ambassador Albert also received the Knight Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit with Star (BundesVerdienstKreuz) from the Federal Republic of Germany.

Later in the event, Atty. Joan Adaci-Cattiling introduced the keynote speaker, Mr. Gerard Bond, President & CEO of OceanaGold. “Our keynote speaker this afternoon is an experienced and accomplished executive in the global resources and finance industry. He was appointed as Executive Director and President & Chief Executive Officer of OceanaGold in April 2022.”

Mr. Bond has an extensive background in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, treasury, and human resources, and has held numerous senior executive roles across North America, Europe and Australia. His commodities experience includes gold, copper, nickel, and aluminium.

Before working in OceanaGold, he was the Finance Director and Chief Finance Officer at Newcrest Mining Limited for 10 years.

On his keynote speech and presentation, Mr. Bond stated that the company’s purpose is “Mining gold for a better future.” Their vision is “A company people trust, want to work and partner with, supply and invest in, to create value.” They hold the values which are: Care, respect, integrity, performance, teamwork.

For the record, 97% of the Didipio Mine Workforce are Filipinos, 23% are women (incl. 47% of management & 35% of technical), and 69% are from Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.

OceanaGold is a growing intermediate gold and copper producer. The company is committed to safely and responsibly maximizing the generation of Free Cash Flow from their operations and delivering strong returns for their shareholders. They have a portfolio of four operating mines, namely, the Haile Gold Mine in the USA, Didipio Mine in the Philippines, and the Macraes and Waihi operations in New Zealand. Their headquarters is in Vancouver, Canada. 

Mr. Bond also discussed "The Five (5) Pillars of our Strategy" to increase and sustain a higher value for OceanaGold.

1. Safety & responsibly deliver gold production

2. A caring, inclusive, and winning culture

3. Increase resource and reserves cost effectively

4. Financial strength and returns

5. A premium rating with the investment community

"In 2023 we produced half a million ounces of gold. In the year ahead, in 2024, we expect to be producing 13% more gold. All that copper comes from the Didipio mine here in the Philippines. With its talented Filipino workforce, Didipio mine has, over the years, consistently delivered production safely and responsibly. It is one of our most consistent gold producers."

“To mention the milestones and 30-year history of Didipio, Didipio was acquired by OceanaGold in 2006. Didipio mine operates under a Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement or FTAA. This is the investment agreement with the Philippine government that grants company titles, exploration, and mining rites within a fixed fiscal regime. Didipio is the first mine in the Philippines to be granted an FTAA. It was the first mine in the Philippines to be producing under an FTAA and it was the first FTAA to be renewed as well in 2021 onwards. It is important that foreign companies can be confident in operating in the Philippines and I think an FTAA is a great basis for us to do so."

"I do want to thank DENR Secretary Toni and MGB Director Atty. Danilo Uykieng, all embassies represented today and all ambassadors, for the support and making it possible for a Canadian-based company to operate successfully here in the Philippines.”

The speaker also mentioned about the sale of gold doré to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on June 9, 2023. The company sold ~27% and ~28% of Didipio Mine’s gold production in 2023 and 2022 respectively to BSP. BSP’s gold holdings form part of the country’s gross international reserves, which support economic activities and serve as buffer against potential adverse impact on the economy.


During his speech, Mr. Bond gave emphasis on how OceanaGold has been making a difference in the Philippines through their Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Development and Management Program, Community Development Fund, and Provincial Development Fund. For the span of 2013-2023, OceanaGold’s programs has been providing billions worth of financial support and assistance.

On the topic of gender equality and inclusion of women in the company, Mr. Bond noted that female employees who are assigned to use the company’s trucks, for example, have fewer or no accidents which in turn, saves the company time and money. Moreso, he mentioned that having female participation in the company’s operations and planning contribute greatly in making better decisions.


Photos by Marcelle P. Villegas


Bond, Gerard (March 8, 2024). “Mining Gold For A Better Future”. A presentation at the Philippine Mining Club Luncheon.

For more information about Philippine Mining Club Luncheon, please visit their website at https://www.philippineminingclub.com/.




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