OceanaGold Corp.’s Haile gold mine in South Carolina commenced commercial production on October 1. Commissioning of the process plant took longer than expected due to issues related to the carbon-in-leach circuit and load imbalances in the milling circuit that led to lower throughputs and recoveries.

“The achievement of commercial production is a major milestone,” said Mick Wilkes, OceanaGold president and CEO. “It was through the hard work and dedication of our workforce and unwavering support from our shareholders, local stakeholders and partners that we are at this pivotal point only less than two years after taking ownership of this world-class asset located in South Carolina.”

Wilkes said the operation is back on track following a disappointing second quarter.

“Process plant throughput has improved and is close to design rates, while grade and recoveries are in line with our expectations,” Wilkes said. “Over the course of the next several months, we will continue to ramp-up operations and focus on fine-tuning of the process plant for incremental improvements.”

Wilkes said all aspects of the operation have been transitioned to the operations team and the commissioning team has been demobilized. Mining operations continue to progress as planned with mining of sulphide ore at both the Mill Zone and Snake pits while mine reconciliation has been in line with expectations. The company’s near-term focus is to further improve mine productivity and operator training to align with OceanaGold’s global operations standards.