An optimization study on OceanaGold’s Didipio Gold Project has delivered positive outcomes with underground development to be brought forward by one year. This work will now commence in the first quarter of 2015.
Access to high grade ore will be brought forward by two years with the first underground production now expected to be in the third quarter of 2017 with full ramp-up to an annual mining rate of 1.6 million tonnes by 2020.
The Didipio project has already identified significant value from the existing operation and ore body.
Other outcomes of the study include:
- Redesigned underground to include two underground mining domains that will increase the annual mine productivity rate to 1.6 million tonnes from 1.2 million tonnes over a longer underground mine life.
- Improved geotechnical understanding, optimized open pit design and revised open pit/underground interface will reduce open pit waste mining by nearly 70 million tonnes whilst only reducing ore supplied from the open pit by approximately one year.
- Improved project economics including increased cash flows and a longer mine life - to be finalized in the updated NI 43-101 Technical Report, which will be finalized in the fourth quarter.
The underground crown pillar will now be established at RL2460, about 80 metres higher than in the original plan thus allowing for two active production areas in the underground resulting in an increase of the mining productivity rate to 1.6 million tonnes and a reduction in the cut-off grade. Additionally, the detailed study along with a comprehensive infill drill program during the last 12 months has resulted in the expansion of the underground by 170 metres deeper than originally planned to RL2010.
OceanaGold’s managing director and CEO Mick Wilkes says, “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce the positive outcomes from the Didipio Optimization Study. With nearly 18 months of commercial operations, we have identified significant value from the Didipio mine that will be unlocked through increased metal production; improved operating cash flows; as well as a significant reduction in waste mined combined with earlier access to higher grade underground ore.” www.oceanagoldcom