OceanaGold has received a mining permit for the Wharekirauponga project on the North Island of New Zealand.
OceanaGold president Michael Holmes expects WKP to host indicated resources of 421,000 ounces at 13.4 grams per tonne and inferred resources of 717,000 ounces at 12 grams per tonne.
The company plans to continue drilling at WKP for several years and advance the project through its permitting stage prior to commencing development.
“We are assessing the option of WKP as a state-of-the-art underground mining operation,” Holmes said.
“The Waihi district has the potential to extend Waihi’s mine life to 2036 and beyond… WKP is part of an exciting development under way in New Zealand and we look forward to working in partnership with government and local communities to advance our projects in the Waihi district and contribute to the post-COVID economic recovery.”
OceanaGold estimates that the broader Waihi operation has a mine life lasting to 2030. It delivered 68,082 ounces of production last year.
OceanaGold anticipates commencing underground mining at WKP and first production in 2026, with processing taking place at the existing Waihi plant.
WKP is expected to produce 190,000–230,000 ounces of gold a year.
WKP is located on the Department of Conservation land, 10 kilometres north of the existing Waihi processing plant.