Oceanagold Achieves Record Annual Gold Production
Oceanagold Achieves Record Annual Gold Production And
Achieves 2017 Guidance for Sixth Consecutive Year
18 January 2018
(All financial figures in US Dollars unless otherwise stated)
(MELBOURNE) OceanaGold Corporation (TSX/ASX: OGC) (the “Company”) is pleased to release its full year and fourth quarter 2017 production report for the year ended 31 December 2017, in accordance with the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”) Listing Rule 5.1. Note that the numbers contained in this document are unaudited and subject to finalisation. The Company will release its complete 2017 audited financial and operational results before market open on Thursday February 22, 2018 (Toronto Eastern Standard Time).
• Record annual and quarterly gold production of 574,606 ounces and 166,211 ounces respectively.
• Annual copper production
of 18,351 tonnes including 3,687 tonnes in the fourth
• Achieved consolidated production and cost range for a sixth consecutive year.
• Consolidated annual gold sales of 555,632 ounces and copper sales of 18,091 tonnes including 168,586 ounces of gold and 4,842 tonnes of copper in the fourth quarter.
• Unaudited consolidated All-In Sustaining Costs (“AISC”) of $617 per ounce sold and cash costs of $349 per ounce sold.
• Increased cash balance from $61 million as at September 30, 2017 to $73 million and reduced net debt to $167 million following debt facility repayments of approximately $73 million.
• Didipio received the inaugural ASEAN award for Best Practices in Sustainable Resource Development in Mineral Processing.
Mick Wilkes, President and CEO said, “We are very pleased to report a strong finish to 2017 for OceanaGold as we achieved record quarterly production leading to the sixth consecutive year that we have achieved our annual guidance. We strengthened our balance sheet as our drawn credit facilities reduced to $200 million following repayments of approximately $73 million from cash flows in the fourth quarter. At the same time, we increased our cash position to $73 million.” He added, “The Haile operation delivered a strong quarter with recoveries above 80% and mill availability around 90% as expected in its first full quarter of commercial operations. The process plant is operating at nameplate capacity and we expect to commence permitting of the expansion in the second quarter.”
“In first quarter of 2018, we expect to
commence the permitting process for mine life extensions at
Waihi while at Didipio, ore from the first underground stope
has been mined and stockpiled at surface, ready for
processing. Although production at Didipio will be lower in
2018 compared to last year, the ramp-up of the underground
is progressing well and we expect a return to stronger
production in 2019 and beyond.”
“We look ahead to 2018 where we have many catalysts across our business and we will continue to advance our exploration program to create organic value for our shareholders. As always, we continue to employ a strict discipline and approach to investment of any nature by focusing on margin and returns.”
On a consolidated basis, the Company produced 574,606 ounces of gold in 2017, which was 38% higher year-on-year and on account of new production from the Haile Gold Mine and record annual gold production from Didipio. Fourth quarter 2017 gold production of 166,211 ounces was 22% higher than in the previous quarter and due to increased production at Didipio, Macraes and Haile. Copper production in the fourth quarter was 3,687 tonnes.
On a consolidated basis, the Company recorded sales of 555,632 ounces of gold and 18,091 tonnes of copper including sales of 168,586 ounces of gold and 4,842 tonnes of copper in the fourth quarter. Consolidated unaudited AISC of $617 per ounce sold was within the guidance range while consolidated unaudited cash costs were $349 per ounce sold.
In the United States, the Haile Gold Mine produced 118,466 ounces of gold, including 50,134 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter. The quarter-on-quarter 60% increase in production was mainly attributable to higher mill feed and improved recoveries. Fourth quarter recoveries averaged 82.6% compared to 70% achieved on average over the first nine months of 2017. The process plant is operating at or above nameplate capacity and the Company expects to exceed nameplate throughput in 2018. Production at Haile for 2018 is expected to be stronger than in 2017.
Philippines, Didipio achieved record annual gold production
and exceeded the top end of its 2017 gold production
guidance range with 176,790 ounces produced, including
39,256 ounces produced in the fourth quarter, while copper
production for the year was 18,351 tonnes including 3,687
tonnes in the fourth quarter. Underground ore from panel
one is available for processing while development of panel
two in the underground has commenced and expected to be
completed in 2019. Production at Didipio in 2018 is expected
to be lower as mill feed will be predominately sourced from
lower-grade stockpiles as the underground operations
In New Zealand, Waihi produced 119,084 ounces of gold, including 31,761 ounces of gold produced in the fourth quarter. The quarter-on-quarter decrease in production was previously forecast and a result of a lower head grade. Production at Waihi for 2018 is expected to be lower than in 2017 due to mine sequencing where lower grades from the underground will be processed.
At Macraes, the operation produced 160,266 ounces of gold, including 45,060 ounces of gold produced in the fourth quarter. The quarter-on-quarter increase in production was attributable to a higher head grade however, production was lower than guided due to delays in accessing higher grade ore from Coronation North. Production at Macraes for 2018 is expected to be higher as the operation is now into higher grade ore at Coronation North, which will be the main source feed for the year.
Full Year Results and Webcast
The Company will release its financial and operational results for the fourth quarter and full year ending 31 December 2017 before the TSX market open on Thursday 22 February 2018 (Toronto, Canada time) / after market close on Thursday February 22, 2018 (Melbourne, Australian Eastern Standard Daylight Time). The results will be posted on OceanaGold’s website at www.oceanagold.com.