OceanaGold began construction of its Didipio gold-copper project on northern Luzon, Philippines, in mid-June. Production is planned to average 100,000 oz/y of gold and 14,000 mt/y of copper over a 16-year mine life. Cash costs are estimated at negative $79/oz of gold net of byproduct credits over the first six years of operation and $356/oz over the life of the mine. Production will be from an open-pit throughout the life of the operation, with additional production from underground mining from 2020 onward.
Start of production at Didipio is scheduled for early 2013, ramping up to designed plant throughput of 3.5 million mt/y by the end of 2014. Open-pit mining will be by a mining contractor at a maximum planned mining rate of 24 million mt/y. Total material moved over the life of the mine will be 199 million mt, of which 44.7 million mt will be ore. Underground mining will be by sub-level open stoping with cemented paste backfill. Access to the underground mine will be via a ramp from the open-pit.
Didipio development is based on 1.68 million oz of gold reserves and 229,000 mt of copper reserves.
OceanaGold is an Australian company based in Melbourne. It has three operating mines in New Zealand: Macraes open cut, Frasers underground and Reefton open cut. The company expects to produce between 260,000 and 280,000 oz of gold at cash costs of $646 to $685/oz in 2011.