OceanaGold beats 2015 guidance for gold, copper
The company exceeded 2015...
2015 was a rough year for the mining industry but for New Zealand mining company, OceanaGold, last year was anything but bad.
The company exceeded 2015 consolidated gold production guidance range with 419,153 ounces produced (36 percent year-on-year increase) and achieved copper production guidance range with 23,109 tons produced.
At its Didipio operation, a high grade gold-copper mine located in the Philippines, the company delivered record annual gold production and throughput with 127,086 ounces of gold produced along with 3.58 million tons of ore processed. The company recorded unaudited consolidated All-In Sustaining Costs (“AISC”) of $709 per ounce sold and cash costs of $458 per ounce sold, both within the 2015 cost guidance range.
In addition, OceanaGold completed commissioning of the power grid connection at Didipio. The operation is now operating on grid power and the Company expects lower processing costs than in previous years. Development of the Didipio underground mine continues to progress with a plan to begin developing exploration drifts by the second half of 2016, which will allow for drilling of the Didipio deposit at depth.
In New Zealand, Macraes and Reefton exceeded their gold production guidance with 222,093 ounces produced including 51,419 ounces produced in the fourth quarter. The year-on-year increase in gold production was a result of higher production at Reefton where the operation will process stockpiles until the end of February 2016, at which point it will be placed on care and maintenance.
“Last year was a transformational year for OceanaGold and another year of strong operational and social performance where we delivered a solid return for shareholders and made significant social investment in the communities where we operate,” said Mick Wilkes, President and CEO.
“We not only exceeded our gold production guidance but did so at sector leading low costs while further improving on our environment, health and safety record.”
Last year also saw OceanaGold complete the acquisition of Romarco Minerals, securing ownership of the Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina, USA, as well as completing the acquisition of the Waihi Gold Mine in New Zealand from Newmont Mining.
Waihi produced 69,973 ounces of gold in the second half of 2015, being production attributable to OceanaGold. In the fourth quarter, Waihi produced 34,987 ounces of gold which was slightly higher than in the previous quarter on the back of a higher mill feed and better recoveries. The Company completed the Waihi transaction on October 30, 2015. Subsequent to the completion, the Company focused on integrating the Waihi operation into the OceanaGold business while seeking to improve productivity and reducing costs.
“In the fourth quarter, we completed both the Romarco and Waihi transactions and developed an extensive exploration program across our business. Through exploration, we have already demonstrated additional resources at Macraes along with solid results from Waihi,” Wilkes said.
Moving forward, OceanaGold announced its 2016 production and guidance of 385,000 to 425,000 ounces of gold at continued low AISC of $700 to $750 per ounce.
At Haile, the company commenced infill drilling of the Horseshoe resource in the fourth quarter of 2015 and conducted initial drilling of regional targets including Cypress and Loblolly with assays pending. In 2016, OceanaGold will continue to drill at Horseshoe, other targets at Haile and advance its portfolio of regional exploration targets.
In the Philippines, drilling continued on the Morning Star prospect at Didipio and scout drilling of geophysical targets at the Paco tenements in northeast Mindanao.
In 2016, the Company has allocated an exploration budget of $25 to $30 million, of which $10 to $15 million has been allocated at Haile and $5 million to $10 million at Waihi with the remaining amount to be spent at Macraes and in the Philippines.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.