PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Melbourne-based miner OceanaGold has reported a decline in gold and copper production for the June quarter, owing to lower production from the Didipio mine, in the Philippines, and teething problems at the new Haile mine, in the US.
Gold production during the second quarter declined to 124 396 oz, compared with 147 956 oz in the previous quarter, while copper production declined from 5 955 t to 4 322 t.
Production at the Didipio mine, on the island of Luzon, fell from 62 748 oz in the first quarter to 42 899 oz in the second quarter, while the output from the Haile mine, in South Carolina, decreased from 20 798 oz to 16 160 oz in the same period.
The ASX- and TSX-listed miner’s two New Zealand operations delivered 65 337 oz in the second quarter. The Waihi mine, on the north island, produced 25 559 oz, compared with 25 860 oz in the previous quarter, while the Macraes mine, on the south island, produced 39 778 oz, up from 38 550 oz.
OceanaGold’s half-year production totalled 272 352 oz of gold and 10 277 t of copper. This compares with 225 339 oz of gold and 12 244 t of copper produced in the previous corresponding period.
All-in sustaining costs amounted to $681/oz in the second quarter and $599/oz in the half-year.
“The first half of the year yielded strong financial and operating results from our diversified portfolio of assets. The Didipio operation continued its strong performance delivering strong cash flows and high margin ounces to offset weaker production from Haile, where production is improving as we rectify commissioning issues previously flagged,” said OceanaGold MD and CEO Mick Wilkes.
The Haile operation, in South Carolina, is facing commissioning issues at its carbon-in-leach circuit, as well as load imbalances in the milling circuit, which led to lower throughput rates and recoveries during the period under review.
“Although commissioning of the Haile process plant has taken longer than expected, it is still a top-tier asset as reflected by the results of the optimisation study. Over the next 18 years or more, we expect the Haile gold mine to deliver significant cash flows and we remain excited about the long-term exploration potential of the district,” said Wilkes.
The miner last month narrowed the top-end of its 2017 gold production guidance, owing to commissioning problems at the Haile mine. The guidance was lowered to between 550 000 oz and 600 000 oz of gold this year, down from previous estimates of 550 000 oz to 610 000 oz of gold.
Meanwhile, gold sales for the June quarter reached 129 750 oz, while copper sales were reported at 5 828 t. For the half-year ended June, gold sales reached 255 975 oz, while some 9 976 t of copper was sold.
Revenue for the second quarter was at A$171.6-million and for the half-year A$333.4-million.
The miner’s profit fell from $36-million in first quarter to $25.36-million in the second quarter. Half-year profit came to $61.36-million, compared with $63.19-million a year earlier.