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OceanaGold files for injunction against local govt

4th July 2019

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner OceanaGold has filed for an injunction to ensure that operations at its Didipio mine site, in the Philippines, continue, after the Governor of Nueva Vizcaya directed local government units to ‘restrain any operations’ of OceanaGold.

Following the Governor’s orders, a local government unit prevented a large supply truck from accessing the mine site.

OceanaGold on Thursday afternoon said that while operations at the mine are continuing, the company has halted truck movements, including that of copper concentrates, to prevent a potential escalation.

This halt has not prevented the supply of copper concentrate for shipment, or of light vehicles, people and food supplies accessing the site.

Reports on Thursday emerged that protestors had gathered around the Didipio operations, prompting the miner to halt its share trading on the ASX.

OceanaGold last week denied that production at Didipio had been halted and that the government of Nueva Vizcaya had ordered a stop to operations in the wake of its financial and technical assistance agreement (FTAA) expiring at the end of June.

The company has lodged an application to renew the FTAA with the Philippines government in March, and received confirmation that the company could continue with operations until the FTAA renewal.

However, reports on Thursday emerged that environmental group the Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (KPNE) had established barricades along the access roads leading to the mine.

“We want Oceanagold to stop operations regardless of whether its FTAA gets renewed or not. We Novo Vizcayanons have had enough of destructive mining in our lands,” village councillor and leader of the environment and agriculture committee of host community Barangay Didipio, Celia Bahag was quoted by KPNE.

OceanaGold on Thursday evening said that it had attempted to engage wit the provincial government to resolve the current issues, but has been forced to file for an injunction to ensure that the local government units recognised the legitimacy of Didipio’s continued right to operate, and the national government’s legal authority over the operation.

The company added that it would continue to work in partnership with its regulatory authorities in accordance with the law, and would continue to comply with its responsibilities under its contract with the Republic of the Philippines.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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