/NOT FOR DISSEMINATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES AND NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO US NEWSWIRE SERVICES./
(All figures in US Dollars)
MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (ASX: OGC) (TSX: OGC) (NZX: OGC) ("the Company") is pleased to release its fourth quarter report for the quarter ended 31 December 2011, in accordance with Australian Securities Exchange ("ASX") Listing Rule 5.1. Please note that the numbers contained in this document are unaudited and subject to finalisation. As a Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") listed company, the Company will release its complete FY2011 audited financial and operational results on 16 February 2012 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time). A conference call to discuss the results will take place on 17 February 2012.
Fourth quarter gold production was up 11% on the previous quarter to 65,750 ounces bringing the total for FY2011 to 252,499 ounces. This was slightly below expectations for the quarter and subsequently the year. Macraes Goldfield fourth quarter production of 44,451 ounces was up 5% compared to the third quarter. Reefton Goldfield fourth quarter production of 21,299 ounces showed significant improvements when compared to the third quarter with better grade and recoveries, however quarterly production did not meet expectations due to lower ore tonnes mined and processed through the mill. Revenue for the fourth quarter was $106.6 million with the average gold price received during the same period being $1,705 per ounce on 62,515 ounces sold. Operational expenditures for the fourth quarter were $55.6 million (excludes depreciation & amortisation, general & administrative expenses and year end inventory adjustment). Unaudited cash costs were $890 per ounce for the fourth quarter. For the full year 2011, including a year end adjustment for inventory, the unaudited cash costs were $875 per ounce, which is within the guidance range of US$850-$890 per ounce.
During the quarter, the Company achieved a number of key milestones with construction of the Didipio Project in Luzon Philippines. These included the commencement of concrete pouring, near completion of the construction accommodation camp, mobilisation by the mining contractor to site and the arrival of the first shipment of structural steel.
Concrete pouring commenced on schedule in November 2011 with good progress made to date with the mill foundations, concentrate storage shed, gold room, concentrate thickener, reagents shed and operations village. Despite heavy rain during the quarter, bulk earthworks for the plant site was completed and excavation progressed reasonably well for the power station. The mining contract was awarded and the contractor commenced mobilising to site in late December. Mining is scheduled to commence in first quarter 2012.
The construction camp is nearing completion and there are approximately 550 construction contractors and staff on site. All major construction contracts are either awarded or in the process of being tendered.
Didipio Construction expenditure during the quarter was $30.9m and total construction spend since the project recommenced was $65.6m.
During the quarter the Company hosted a site visit where analysts and investors had the opportunity to meet the project team and see the construction progress to date. In addition, the visitors gained an insight into the strong relationship the Company has developed with the local communities. The Mayor of Kasibu, the Didipio Barangay Captain and President of the Didipio Community Development Corporation (Dicorp) participated in the site visit.
Refer to full document on website: http://www.oceanagold.com/investors-and-media/news-releases/ogc-2011-fourth-quarter-production-report/ for all figures mentioned.
Figure 1: Crusher for construction material for the Tailings Storage Facility on site at Didipio
Figure 2: Ball mill foundation with bulk earthworks for power station in background
Exploration expenditure for the quarter was $3.4 million.
Exploration activity at Reefton increased during the quarter with five active drill rigs throughout the tenements. A deep drilling program commenced at the historic Blackwater underground mine during the quarter. This program is expected to continue throughout 2012. Diamond drilling continued at Big River with further exploration activities taking place at the Crushington group of historical workings.
At Macraes Goldfield, diamond drill programs focused on a possible extension of Frasers Underground Panel 2 mineralisation.
In the Philippines, further soil sampling activities near Didipio and geological mapping at other tenements were conducted.
FY2012 & FY2013 Production Guidance
As reported in December 2011, FY2012 production guidance has been set at 230,000 - 250,000 ounces of gold at cash costs of US$900 - $980 per ounce (assumes NZD/USD exchange rate of $0.80).
With the start of production at Didipio, preliminary FY2013 production guidance is estimated to be 300,000-350,000 ounces of gold at cash costs of less than US$500 per ounce (net of copper credits).
FY2011 Results Release and Conference Call
The Company will release its FY2011 financial results on 16 February 2012 and host a conference call / webcast to discuss the results at 8.30am on Friday 17 February (Melbourne, Australia time) / 4.30pm on Thursday 16 February (Toronto, Canada time).
To register please go to the "Bulletin Board" section in the Company's website (oceanagold.com) or copy and paste the link below into your browser: http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=396218&s=1&k=D53E5862FD2715ABCAAB892F804EC67A
Teleconference Participants (required for those who wish to ask questions)
Local (toll free) dial in numbers are:
New Zealand: 0-800-450-745
Canada & North America: 1 888-231-8191
All other countries (toll): + 1 647-427-7450
Playback of Webcast
If you are unable to attend the call, a recording will be available for viewing on the Company's website from 11.30am on Friday 17 February (Melbourne, Australia time) / 7.30pm on Thursday 17 February (Toronto, Canada time).
OceanaGold Corporation is a significant Asia Pacific gold producer with projects located on the South Island of New Zealand and in the Philippines. The Company's assets encompass New Zealand's largest gold mining operation at the Macraes goldfield in Otago which is made up of the Macraes Open Pit and the Frasers Underground mines. Additionally on the west coast of the South Island, the Company operates the Reefton Open Pit mine. OceanaGold produces approximately 230,000 - 250,000 ounces of gold per annum from the New Zealand operations. The Company also owns the Didipio Project in northern Luzon, Philippines which is in construction and expected to commission in Q4 2012. Currently, Didipio is expected to produce 100,000 ounces of gold and 14,000 tonnes of copper per year over an estimated 16 year mine life.
OceanaGold is listed on the Toronto, Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges under the symbol OGC.
Statements in this release may be forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", "plans", "estimates" or "intends", or stating that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements such as production forecasts are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements. They include, among others, the accuracy of mineral reserve and resource estimates and related assumptions, inherent operating risks and those risk factors identified in the Company's most recent Annual Information Form prepared and filed with securities regulators which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com under the Company's name. There are no assurances the Company can fulfil such forward-looking statements and, subject to applicable securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update such statements. Such forward-looking statements are only predictions based on current information available to management as of the date that such predictions are made; actual events or results may differ materially as a result of risks facing the Company, some of which are beyond the Company's control. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
For further information:
Ms Nova Young
Investor Relations Officer
Tel: +61(3) 9656 5300