The full year and December quarter production details for OceanaGold Corporation (TSX & ASX: OGC) saw the growing gold company achieve production and cost guidance for the seventh consecutive year.
The 2018 gold production from two mines in New Zealand, the advancing Haile mine in the United States and the Didipio gold-copper mine in the Philippines totalled 533,300 ounces including, taking in a December quarter result of 126,700 oz. There was also 15,000 tonnes of copper produced at Didipio for the year, including 2.9t in the fourth quarter.
OceanaGold achieved an unaudited consolidated all-in sustaining costs (AISC) for all operations of $US767/ounce sold and cash costs of $US489/oz sold.
Commenting last night, chief executive Mick Wilkes said the company had another solid year of operational and financial performance.
“We are pleased with the progress that we have made in advancing the Martha underground project, which is expected to deliver significant value to shareholders and continue to contribute significant socio-economic benefits to Waihi and New Zealand for the next decade,” he said.
At Haile in the US, expansion of the process plant continued and the company was commissioning the upgraded regrinding circuit. The permitting process for the open pit expansion and Horseshoe underground achieved an important milestone at the end of 2018.
“Our business is solid. In 2019, we except to continue to generate good cash flows and consistent strong returns like we have generated over the past several years,” Wilkes said.
“We are well on our way to deliver mine life extensions at our New Zealand operations while expanding production at Haile. We are excited about our exploration programme that comprises several significant drill targets associated with our existing assets and increased exposure to proven gold provinces through equity investments and joint ventures with exploration companies.”
In New Zealand, the 2018 production for Macraes was 203,000 oz and for Waihi 83,500 oz, and AISC costs for Macraes were down to $US879/oz and for Waihi $US763/oz.
The fourth quarter decrease in production at Waihi was expected and due mainly to a lower head grade and less tonnage mined.
At Macraes, there was a production increase in the fourth quarter, coming largely from a higher head grade at Coronation North and slightly higher mill feed.
The company continued to investigate standalone underground mining at Golden Point and other initiatives designed to increase the mine life at current commodity prices.