OCEANAGOLD has gained a Special Citation for Excellence in Ecology and Economy (E3) for water management measures at its Didipio Gold-Copper Project in northern Luzon. The award recognises the water initiatives of OceanaGold Phils Inc (OGPI), including the $6.1 million automated water treatment (AWT) facility.

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The paste fill facility that is being constructed at Didipio. This will be used for the underground operations.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said OGPI was awarded the E3 citation during the 43rd Philippine Business Conference and Expo (PBC&E) in Manila on 18 October 2017.

The citation noted the initiatives, particularly the recycling of process tailings water, while additional upgrades in the mine’s processing plant had reduced its use of freshwater significantly, improving water recycling efficiency up to 90%.

OGPI environment manager Jason Magdaong said the AWT facility at Didipio was built to further improve water discharge quality.

“Our technology involves the recycling of process tailings water, contributing significantly to the preservation of natural resources and generating savings for the company.

“It was a great privilege to be competing against other firms from various industries that have impressive environmental and management systems in place. We are honoured to be the recipient of this year’s PCCI Special Citation in E3 Award”.

OGPI general manager David Way said that as the government’s partner in development, the company ensured that mineral extraction was carried out “in the most responsible manner through the collective and dedicated efforts in improving environmental performance.”

The company has been using the safest and most environmentally friendly mineral processing technology. “We implement best practices that will minimise the impact of our operation and further enhance our surrounding environment and communities”, said Mr Way.

Launched in 2003, the PCCI’s E3 Award was established to recognise individual enterprises that demonstrate the most innovative and outstanding environmental performance as part of their sustainable development strategy, thereby delivering business benefits.

Gold and copper output at Didipio is expected to be boosted as underground production ramps up. The company expected production from the new underground project to begin by the end of 2017.

During the September quarter, 31887 ounces of gold and 4387 tonnes of copper were produced at Didipio, with gold production lower than previous quarters, as expected, due to processing of the lower grade stockpile.

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