OceanaGold has achieved a major milestone at its Didipio gold-copper operation in the Philippines: the official commencement of processing.
The start-up comes two weeks ahead of schedule for the miner, and follows the completion of plant upgrades, maintenance activities and a mining start that were all one month early.
Didipio’s process plant is expected to ramp up to a throughput rate of 3.5 million tonnes annually over the next few weeks. For the balance of the year, OceanaGold said, it is targeting production of between 7,000 and 12,000 ounces of gold and 1,000 tonnes of copper.
Once ramped up to full production, it is expecting a monthly rate of 10,000 oz. of gold and 1,000 t of copper.
"As the underground mining operations continue to ramp up over the course of the next eight to nine months, the primary ore feed will be sourced from low-grade stockpiles, of which the company has approximately 23 million tonnes of ore on surface,” COO and acting CEO Scott Sullivan said.
“With underground ore progressively being delivered to the ROM pad, the operation will increase the proportion of higher-grade ore feed to supplement the mill."
OceanaGold’s assets include Didipio as well as the Macraes and Waihi operations in New Zealand and Haile gold mine in the U.S.