OceanaGold resumes in NZ after copping COVID shutdowns

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OceanaGold has recommenced operations at its Macraes and Waihi gold operations in New Zealand, after COVID-19 spikes caused the sites to shutdown from mid-August.

The mines were shut down from midnight beginning August 17 and were reopened four days later than anticipated at midnight beginning September 1.

The Macraes gold mine is the largest gold mine in New Zealand, having produced over five million ounces of gold since 1990.

Waihi was also targeting 35,000 to 45,000 ounces of gold in 2021, but OceanaGold expected the shutdown and ongoing restrictions to restrict group production by around 4000 to 5000 ounces of gold in for 2021.

OceanaGold president and chief executive officer Michael Holmes said the company would continue to respect the restrictions put in place by the New Zealand Government.

“We are pleased with the restart of operations at Macraes and Waihi following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions,” Holmes said.

“We have operated responsibly in New Zealand for over 30 years and will continue to work in partnership with the Government to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“Our operations have strict health and safety protocols in place to safeguard the wellbeing of our workforce as we continue our legacy of providing meaningful socio-economic benefit to the local communities.”

The country’s shut down was an Alert Level Four which is New Zealand’s highest level of alert and asks unessential businesses to halt operations.

Holmes said OceanaGold would strive to offset the loss in production.

“Over the course of the remaining months, we will continue to look for opportunities to make up for the decrease in production as a result of the COVID-19 impacts,” he said.

“We will continue to manage the risks associated with the COVID-19 virus with the health and safety of our workforce being paramount.”

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