OceanGold Corporation Lays Off Employees
Because of the many issues hounding the OceanaGold Corporation such as opposition from the local government, among other things, the Australian-Candian company has let go of as many as 496 employees and 400 people working with contractors.
In a press statement, OceanaGold President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Holmes said, “Today is a sad day for the company and for the many hundreds of workers and their families. It has constrained our ability to continue operations over the past 15 months.”
In mid-November, the company may lay-off another set of employees.
Holmes said, “The Company has actively participated in community-led dialogue supported by the majority of village and municipal governments along with the majority of local residents in Didipio. Despite these efforts, a small group of local leaders have refused to consider access arrangements that would have preserved these jobs. We thank local employees and local government leaders for their strong support and efforts to avoid permanent layoffs, especially during this difficult time with COVID-19.”
Presently, the company has a pending request for FTAA renewal with the Office of the President.
Holmes said that they continue to “engage with the National Government, who express their support and endorsement of the renewal.”
He added, “The Didipio operation is a world-class mine that has operated to the highest of responsible mining, environmental and social standards. With a world-class workforce that is predominantly Filipino, Didipio has had one of the best safety records globally and represents how mining can contribute to skills development, job creation and livelihood opportunities for local communities. We will work as quickly and safely as we can to rehire hundreds of workers and restart operations should the FTAA be renewed or the blockade lifted.”
It can be recalled that last week, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) rejected the firm’s offer to travel the remaining ore from its suspended mine in Didipio. MGB Regional Director Mario Ancheta said the mining firm must “be held in abeyance until such time the renewal of the FTAA is granted” to the company. This, or if there is already an executive agreement between the Local Government Unit (LGU) and the company that the delivery will be allowed to pass in the established checkpoints and “ensure no untoward incident will happen”.