The New Zealand Government has downgraded its COVID-19 alert level from level four to level three, allowing OceanaGold Corp. to restart operations at the Macraes and Waihi mines. The downgrade included all of New Zealand, except for Auckland and Northland.
The company is resuming mine production, processing, and exploration activities at Macraes and Waihi, while adhering to strict public health protocols, including enhanced PPE, strict physical distancing, staggered shifts, and consideration for immune compromised employees, the company said. These restrictions along with the recent two-week shutdown is expected to result in an approximate decrease of 4,000 ounces (oz) to 5,000 oz of gold production from each New Zealand operation in 2021.
“We have operated responsibly in New Zealand for more than 30 years and will continue to work in partnership with the government to contain the spread of COVID-19,” President and CEO Michael Holmes said. “Our operations have strict health and safety protocols in place to safeguard the well-being of our workforce as we continue our legacy of providing meaningful socioeconomic benefit to the local communities.”
Holmes said the company will continue to look for opportunities to make up for the decrease in production as a result of the COVID-19 impacts.