The big spend by OceanaGold Corporation (TSX & ASX: OGC) in the past 18 months has produced dividends and the company continues to see exploration as a pillar for growth.
This was a point made at last week’s Macquarie Australia Conference by OceanaGold’s chief executive Mick Wilkes.
He told delegates the company had a robust balance sheet with total liquidity of $US119 million, a cash balance of $US89 M and an undrawn credit facility of $US30 M.
Following development of the Haile gold project in the United States and some investment activity, the company had total debt of $US236 M and was expecting to make a debt reduction this calendar year of between $US50 and $US60 M.
Wilkes said that for organic growth at Haile there was the mine expansion and strong exploration targets, at Didipio in the Philippines there was the ramp-up of development on the underground mine.
At Waihi, the company had a 10 year expansion programme, while at Macraes there was both the Round Hill project and regional exploration.
Exploration at Waihi has included proving up of a 110,000koz resource at or near the historic Gladstone mine site and positive results from extensive drilling beneath the Martha pit.
OceanaGold holds a series of prospects further north on the Coromandel Peninsula including the large WKP target, White Bluffs, Twin Hills and Ohui.
The large bulk tonnage mine developments at Macraes has provided a resource base of 4.5 M oz and Mick Wilkes said strong production was expected this year and next.
In an earlier discussion paper, OceanaGold said March quarter regional exploration at Macraes had cost $US1.1 M and involved 74 holes at Coronation North, Golden Point and Deepdell.
Exploration for the remainder of this year was expected to focus on Coronation North, Coronation, Deepdell and the Round Hill project (Golden Point).