DEVELOPMENT of the Coronation North deposit at OceanaGold’s Macraes Goldfield project on New Zealand’s South Island is expected to begin during the current quarter. In December the company said that it remained on track to receive the permits required to advance the project into development.
|Processing facilities at the Macraes Goldfield project in the Otago region of on New Zealand’s South Island|
Exploration in 2016 increased the Coronation North measured and indicated resource by 62% from 134,000 to 218,000 ounces. This work was part of about 27,000 metres of drilling at Macraes in 2016, focusing on resource conversion, extension and identifying new zones of mineralisation from a pipeline of targets along the 35km Hyde-Macraes Shear Zone.
Results include: Nunns - 6 metres @ 3.2g/t gold and 3 metres @ 7.5 g/t; Coronation - 8.9 metres @ 1.7 g/t, 8.4 metres @ 1.8 g/t and 5 metres @ 2.9 g/t; and Frasers Underground - 6.9 metres @ 3.5 g/t, 7.6 metres @ 3.2 g/t and 11.4 metres @ 2.1 g/t.
The company also had exploration success at Waihi on the North Island with approximately 33,000 metres of drilling completed with three underground and up to five surface drill rigs.
Surface diamond drilling continues to produce encouraging results intersecting mineralisation over significant widths while testing the resource potential of major lodes, linking veins and four stockwork zones beneath the Martha open pit.
Underground diamond drilling has focused on reserve and resource additions at Daybreak, Empire and Christina veins. OceanaGold has received permits to mine in an area adjoining the Correnso mine to the west where high-grade intercepts demonstrate potential for reserve additions.
Waihi results include 10.8 metres @ 9.25 g/t gold and 97.0 g/t silver and 1.8 metres @ 20.1 g/t gold and 836.3 g/t silver from surface; and 2.6 metres @ 93.80 g/t gold and 125.1 g/t silver and 7.9 metres @ 24.33 g/t gold and 79.9 g/t silver from underground.
During the September quarter Waihi production decreased due mainly to lower grades and the temporary suspension of operations for a week at the beginning of August while at Macraes, production increased due to better underground grades, processing less stockpiled ore and better recoveries. The company expects to produce 110,000-120,000 ounces in 2017 from Waihi and 180,000-190,000 ounces from Macraes.
In December OceanaGold commenced closure and rehabilitation activities at Reefton Gold Mine on the South Island. The work is expected to take several years to complete.