OceanaGold: Company to Appeal Provincial Ruling Denying Injunction at Didipio
Mr. Michael Wilkes reports:
OceanaGold Corporation informs the Provincial Court of Nueva Vizcaya has denied its injunction request to end the unauthorised restraint of the Didipio operation by the Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya. The Company will now appeal this decision to the Philippine Court of Appeals in Manila.
Since 1 July 2019, local government units from the Province of Nueva Vizcaya have impeded access to and from the mine site in response to an unlawful directive from the Governor to 'restrain any operations' of the Company. The Company maintains the regulatory authority of the Didipio operation rests with the National Government, not the local government units.
Due to the depletion of consumable mining supplies, Didipio's underground mining has been suspended. Processing is continuing along with other critical activities to ensure the safety of employees and protection of the environment.
As reported on 27 June 2019, the Company lodged its application for renewal of the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement ("FTAA") with the Philippine Government in March 2018. On 20 June 2019, the Philippine Government's regulatory authority, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, confirmed that the Didipio Mine is permitted to continue operations pending confirmation of the FTAA renewal.
Authority over the Didipio Mine rests with the National Government. The Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160) does not grant the power or authority to the Provincial Governor or any local government officer to restrain any aspect of the Didipio operation.
The Company continues to work with the National Government to finalise the renewal of the FTAA and remain open to the opportunity to engage with the Provincial government and work together in the best interest of the local stakeholders.
The Company is committed to operating in accordance with the law and will always comply with its responsibilities under its contract with the Philippine Government.
The Didipio Mine is an underground gold and copper mine located across the provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya, approximately 270 kilometres northeast of Manila in the Philippines. For the past decade, the operation has received numerous awards. It is a two-time recipient of the Presidential Award as the most environmentally and socially responsible mining operation in the Philippines and was awarded the first ASEAN Mineral Award for best practices in sustainable development. It is considered one of the safest gold mining operations in the world, and over the past two years, the Company has implemented state-of-art automated and digital underground mining technology.
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.
On the North Island of New Zealand, the Company operates the high-grade Waihi Gold Mine while on the South Island of New Zealand, the Company operates the largest gold mine in the country at the Macraes Goldfield which is made up of a series of open pit mines and the Frasers underground mine. In the United States, the Company operates the Haile Gold Mine, a top-tier, long-life, high-margin asset located in South Carolina. OceanaGold also has a significant pipeline of organic growth and exploration opportunities in the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions.
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 collaboratively 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.