OceanaGold president Michael Holmes expects that the largest organic growth in the company’s 30-year history will be driven by its Waihi gold operation in New Zealand.
Despite a five-week suspension of development at Martha Underground at the Waihi mine, OceanaGold continues to expect first production in the second quarter of next year.
The company also plans to continue progressing other opportunities within the Waihi district through the permitting phase.
OceanaGold is currently focussed on resource conversion and extension at both the Martha Underground and WKP Hauraki at the Waihi project.
“OceanaGold is a solid mid-tier gold producer with one of the premier growth pipelines in the gold mining industry,” Holmes said.
“We continue to advance the Waihi district opportunities which are planned to deliver the largest organic growth in the OceanaGold’s 30-year history.
“In addition to Waihi, we continue to advance the Golden Point underground study which we anticipate completing this quarter and demonstrate a meaningful mine life extension at Macraes.”
Macraes, which is the largest gold mine in New Zealand, returned to a strong rebound in mining activity in May and June following a five-week government shutdown.
In spite of this, the company isn’t able to make up for the shortfall in mining this year, shifting some of its production which was originally expected in the fourth quarter to 2021.
As a result, OceanaGold has reduced its Macraes production guidance for this year to 140,000–150,000 ounces of gold.
In the United States, OceanaGold is confronted with 18 positive COVID-19 cases since June.
“…Up until June, the company had no positive cases of COVID-19,” Holmes said.
“…Approximately 220 workers have been required to self-isolate for a two-week period at some point since the beginning of March.
“These protocols while essential, have adversely impacted staffing levels at Haile.”
Holmes said the outlook at Haile for the remainder of the year was uncertain given the fluid COVID-19 situation in the United States and productivity losses due to weather.
“We are behind schedule on our targeted mining advance rates, which is delaying access to higher-grade zones of the open pits necessary to achieve the significantly higher production levels expected in the latter months of this year,” Holmes said.
OceanaGold now expects to produce 135,000 to 175,000 ounces of gold at Haile this year.