Oceanagold provides an update on Philippines legal proceedings
OceanaGold Corporation wishes to provide an update on the status of legal proceedings in the Philippines.
The Company applied for an injunction in the Philippines Court of Appeals in July 2019 as a temporary measure to allow interim operations of the Didipio Mine while it challenges the legality of the order issued by the Governor of Nueva Vizcaya to restrain the activities of the Company pending renewal of the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (“FTAA”).
The Company has recently been made aware from social media that the Court of Appeals has denied its application for an injunction. The Company has not received any formal order from the Court of Appeals and is seeking confirmation. If the denial of the injunction is in fact accurate, the Company will continue to defend its right to operate the Didipio Mine in the interim whilst it completes the FTAA renewal process. To this end, OceanaGold intends to follow the usual appeal process with the Court of Appeals, and if necessary, to the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
Regional Trial Court in Nueva Vizcaya
The Company’s main petition in the Regional Trial Court in Nueva Vizcaya challenging the legality of the Governor’s order is ongoing. Due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the parties are still undergoing pre-trial conference. The Company maintains 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 Mine operations.
Renewal of the FTAA
The renewal of the FTAA is a separate and independent process which the Philippine National Government has authority over. In this regard, the status of the FTAA renewal has not changed, and it remains with the Office of the President of the Philippines. The Company will continue to work with the National Government to finalise the renewal of the FTAA and remain open to the opportunity to engage with the Provincial governments of both Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino that are hosting the FTAA and work together in the best interest of local stakeholders.