OceanaGold Corp. announced that its Haile Gold Mine in Lancaster County, South Carolina commenced commercial production on Oct. 1, 2017.
OceanaGold, the Melbourne, Australia-based mining company, paid $856 million for the mine in 2015. Since then, OceanaGold has been ramping up to begin mining on the property. In 2017, OceanaGold expects to produce 14.1 to 15.4 t (550,000 to 600,000 oz) of gold and 18 kt to 19 kt (19,800 to 21,000 st) of copper with sector leading all-in sustaining costs that range from $19.30 to $20.90/g ($600 to $650/oz) sold.
“The achievement of commercial production is a major milestone for the Haile Gold Mine. It was through the hard work and dedication of our workforce and unwavering support from our shareholders, local stakeholders and partners that we are at this pivotal point only less than two years after taking ownership of this world-class asset located in South Carolina, United States.” Mick Wilkes, OceanaGold president and chief executive officer said in a statement. “The operation is back on track following the disappointment of the second quarter. Process plant throughput has improved and is close to design rates, while grade and recoveries are in-line with our expectations. Over the course of the next several months, we will continue to ramp-up operations and focus on fine-tuning of the process plant for incremental improvements.”
All aspects of the operation have been transitioned to the operations team and the commissioning team has demobilized. Mining operations continue to progress as planned with mining of sulfide ore at both the Mill Zone and Snake pits while mine reconciliation has been in-line with expectations. The company's near-term focus is to further improve mine productivity and operator training to align with OceanaGold’s global operations standards.
The Haile operation is cash flow positive and operating costs have been generally in-line with expectations although mining unit costs are slightly higher due to lower productivity during this ramp up phase. The Company expects to disclose the final reconciled revenue and costs associated with Haile's pre-commercial operating period when it releases its third quarter 2017 financial and operating results on Oct. 26.
OceanaGold Corp. 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 openpit mines and the Frasers underground mine. OceanaGold also has a significant pipeline of organic growth and exploration opportunities in the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions.