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MELBOURNE, Feb. 14, 2017 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX/ASX: OGC) (the "Company") advises that the Company received an order from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources ("DENR") today calling for the suspension of the Didipio operations.
The order repeated allegations previously made by the DENR, citing "… petition of the Local Government of Nueva Vizcaya for the cancellation of the FTAA; alleged damages to houses caused by the blasting operation; and the potential adverse impact to the agricultural areas of the Province…". The Company was also given a period of up to three months to address the issues raised against it.
Subsequent to receiving the order, OceanaGold filed an appeal directly with the Office of the President which, in accordance with the rules and regulations, stays the execution of the suspension order. The Company anticipates that Didipio will continue to operate during the appeal process.
Mick Wilkes, President and CEO of OceanaGold said, "We are an environmentally and socially responsible mining Company that has delivered meaningful benefits to a multitude of stakeholders in the host communities that support the mine in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino. We have the strong endorsement from our host communities to operate and are a major employer of Filipino nationals, majority of whom are from the local communities. A suspension of operations will adversely impact thousands of Filipinos directly and indirectly."
"The Didipio operation has not violated or breached any Philippines laws, rules or regulations. In fact, OceanaGold has a successful track record of operating for 27 years in accordance with Australian and Canadian standards on health, safety, environment, community and sustainability across all our operations. We strongly believe that the Didipio operation is the template for what President Duterte is seeking in his desire for a responsible mining sector in the Philippines," Mr. Wilkes added.
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OceanaGold Corporation is a mid-tier, high-margin, multinational gold producer with assets located in the Philippines, New Zealand and the United States. The Company's assets encompass its flagship operation, the Didipio Gold-Copper Mine located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. On the North Island of New Zealand, the Company operates the high-grade Waihi Gold Mine while on the South Island of New Zealand, the Company operates the largest gold mine in the country at the Macraes Goldfield which is made up of a series of open pit mines and the Frasers underground mine. In the United States, the Company is currently commissioning the Haile Gold Mine, a top-tier asset located in South Carolina along the Carolina Terrane. The Company expects the Haile Gold Mine to commence commercial production in early 2017. OceanaGold also has a significant pipeline of organic growth and exploration opportunities in the Australasia and Americas regions.
OceanaGold has operated sustainably over the past 26 years with a proven track record for environmental management and community and social engagement. The Company has a strong social license to operate and works collaboratively with its valued stakeholders to identify and invest in social programs that are designed to build capacity and not dependency.
In 2017, the Company expects to produce 550,000 to 610,000 ounces of gold and 15,000 to 17,000 tonnes of copper with sector leading All-In Sustaining Costs that range from $600 to $650 per ounce sold.
SOURCE OceanaGold Corporation
For further information: Investor Relations: Sam Pazuki, Tel: +1 416 915 3123; Jeffrey Sansom, Tel: +61 3 9656 5300; Media Relations: Jill Thomas, Tel: +61 3 9656 5300