OceanaGold Corp. announced an updated mineral resource estimate for the Martha Underground Project at the company’s Waihi Gold Mine in New Zealand.
Mick Wilkes, OceanaGold president and CEO, said, “The Martha Underground resource continues to grow following further investments in exploration drilling in 2019. Infill and extensional drilling has resulted in an additional 440,000 ounces of gold accompanied by an increase in average grade of both Indicated and Inferred resource categories. The increase in resources from last year underpins the 10-year mine life that we have targeted for the Martha Underground.”
“Development of the Martha Underground continues to progress well with first production expected in the second quarter of 2021. The Martha Underground along with the WKP prospect form the basis for the Waihi District Study, which will be published as a preliminary economic assessment and expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020.”
“We continue to be very excited for the future of Waihi. New Zealand is a top-tier mining jurisdiction, one that we have successfully operated in for the past 30 years and through our proven track record of operating to the highest environmental and social standards and reputation as a solid corporate steward, we are, together with our valued stakeholders from New Zealand, looking forward to many more years of employment, economic benefits and investments,” Mr Wilkes said.
Drilling at the Martha Underground commenced in 2017 and since that time, OceanaGold has drilled nearly 100 km from both surface and underground drilling. Over the past two years, underground drilling has taken place along 1.8 km of drill drives beneath the Martha open pit. The company will continue to drill from cuddies along these drives that will also serve as access when ore production commences from the Martha Underground.
For 2020, OceanaGold expects to drill 25,000 metres in the Martha Underground with a primary focus on resource definition. In addition to the significant resource at Martha Underground, the company has a revised exploration target of 6 to 8 million tonnes of ore grading 4 to 6 g/t, reflecting the definition of new resources from this target over the course of the year. OceanaGold said it would continue to target new resources and their conversion throughout the coming years.