OceanaGold (TSX: OGC) announced on Thursday it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga (WKP) in New Zealand, granting the company exclusive right to the mineral resource.
The miner purchased the Newmont/Glass Earth interest at WKP – located in the Coromandel Forest Park on the southern Coromandel Peninsula – in 2016, incorporating it into its Waihi operations. WKP currently has an indicated resource of 421,000 oz of gold at 13.4 g/t gold and an inferred resource of 717,000 oz at 12 g/t gold.
“As part of the greater Waihi District Study, the WKP deposit is expected
to deliver significant value for shareholders. We expect to continue
drilling there for several years to come as we advance the project through its life cycle,” said OceanaGold CEO Michael Holmes.
“We are assessing the option of WKP as a state-of-the-art underground mining operation. The Waihi District has the potential to extend Waihi’s mine life to 2036 and beyond while providing meaningful socio-economic
benefits for stakeholders.”
Based on the recently completed Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Waihi District, the company envisages underground mining at WKP and first production in 2026, with processing taking place at the existing Waihi plant.
Over the currently estimated life of mine, WKP is expected to produce 190,000 to 230,000 ounces of gold annually.
OceanaGold’s producing operations are in New Zealand and the US – this year’s total production guidance for the company stands at 360,000 oz. to 380,000 oz. at all-in sustaining costs of $1,075 to $1,125 per oz.
The company’s stock was down nearly 2% on the TSE midday Thursday. The miner has a C$2.2 billion market capitalization.