Oceanagold in 'constructive' dialogue with Philippines govt over Didipio

Oceanagold Corp has told investors it's engaged after the Philippines government named its Didipio site as among mining operations that could be suspended.

Oceanagold Corp, the NZX-listed gold miner, has told investors it's engaged in what it terms "constructive" dialogue after the Philippines government named its Didipio site as among mining operations that could be suspended because of outstanding social issues.

Melbourne-based Oceanagold was among 23 mining companies named at a press conference given by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary Gina Lopez and head of mining audit, Leo Jasareno last month.

The company extracted 90,887 ounces of gold and 12,244 tonnes of copper in the first half of the current financial year from Didipio, amounting to 40% of total production. Profit soared 174% gain in first-half profit, reflecting a recovery in the price of gold and increased production.

In a statement to the stock market, Oceanagold said it had engaged directly with Ms Lopez and other senior officials, "to gain clarity on the findings identified with respect to the Didipio operation."

Speaking from Manila, chief executive Mick Wilkes said he was "highly confident that our Didipio operations will continue to operate without interruption as the mine sets the benchmark for responsible mining based on international best practices."

The site continues to operate without interruption and the company said it maintained its production and cost guidance for 2016.

The company operates the Macraes and Reefton mines in the South Island. Last year it acquired the Waihi mine from Newmont Mining Corp and it is also developing the Haile mine in the US, where commercial production is slated to start in early 2017.

Shares in Oceanagold rose 5.7% to $4.45 and have risen 49.8% since the start of the year. Shares were trading at $4.14 prior to the publication of its statement.


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