Dual-listed OceanaGold has restarted processing at the Didipio gold/copper mine, in the Philippines, after a two-year suspension.
The Philippine government in July renewed the Didipio mine financial or technical assistance agreement for an additional 25-year period.
“Didipio is producing gold and copper again, which will be an important source of free cash flow generation for the company and a significant contributor of socioeconomic benefits for the region and country,” COO and acting CEO Scott Sullivan said on Thursday.
“It marks a new beginning for the operation and the predominantly Filipino workforce, who are leading and operating a first quartile gold and copper producer.”
Sullivan stated that the start of milling was two weeks ahead of schedule, following the completion of plant upgrades and maintenance activities and the start of mining activities was one month ahead of schedule
As the underground mining operations continue to ramp up over the course of the next eight to nine months, the primary ore feed will be sourced from low-grade ore stockpiles, of which the company has about 23-million tonnes on surface.
“With underground ore progressively being delivered to the run-of-mine pad, the operation will increase the proportion of higher-grade ore feed to supplement the mill.”
The Didipio process plant is expected to ramp up to its throughput rate of 3.5-million tonnes a year over the course of the next few weeks.
For the remainder of the year, the company expects to produce between 7 000 oz/y and 12 000 oz/y of gold and 1 000 t of copper at an all-in sustaining cost of between $100/oz and $150/oz sold on a by-product basis.
OceanaGold stated that it would continue to manage the risks associated with Covid-19 as it continued to ramp up operations to full production rates of 10 000 oz a month of gold and 1 000 t a month of copper.