Continuing positive exploration results at Waihi were detailed as one of the positives at the annual general meeting of OceanaGold Corporation (TSX & ASX: OGC) in Canada on Friday.
The presentation made to shareholders was by chief executive Mick Wilkes and chairman James Askew, who detailed both a record annual net profit and revenue and pointed out that over $US12 million in dividends were declared in 2017 in addition to $US6 M in dividends paid in the first quarter in the first quarter of this year.
In 2017 the company had revenue of $US724 M, net profit of $US174 M and record gold production of 555,632 ounces as well as copper output from the Didipio gold-copper mine in the Philippines of 18,351 tonnes.
The company has continued to generate a strong cash flow and increased its cash balance by 22% in calendar 2017.
At Waihi, gold production for the year was 119,084 oz at an all-in cash cost (AISC) of $US759/oz that saw an AISC margin of $US501/oz.
The Waihi operation now has permitting for extending underground mining from the historic Martha mine, a large open cut on the eastern side of the town of Waihi.
The company was looking at a 10 year life-of-mine extension utilising the Martha Deeps and the new Correnso underground mine, while exploration was being stepped up regionally. This takes in a maiden resource of 110,000 oz at the historic Gladstone area, near the existing mines.
This calendar year, OceanaGold was looking at production from existing operations of between 75,000-85,000 oz and capital spending of between $US20-$US23 M, and a further $US15-$US20 M on exploration.
At the company’s original mining operation of Macraes in East Otago, a 10 year potential life-of-mine extension has been projected, utilising an established resource of 1.49 M oz.
Studies were advancing on opening up mining again on the original Round Hill mining area and also at nearby Golden Pond. This was likely to involve relocation of the existing milling and processing facilities.
Shareholders were told encouraging drill results at Golden Point and targeting areas with higher grade ore were prime issues.
Production for this year at Macraes was expected to be between 190,000-200,000 oz at an AISC of between $US900-$US1,000 per oz sold, and the exploration spend was expected to be between $US3-$US5 M.
The new Haile mine in South Carolina in the US has completed a maiden year and was expected to see a 60% increase in net cash flows and production lifting towards 189,000 oz per annum.
Guidance for 2018 was set at between 135,000-155,000 oz and AISC was given as between $US725-$US775/oz of gold sold.
The Haile treatment plant is being increased to a capacity of 4 million tonnes per annum.
The estimated group gold production for this year was put at 505,000 oz at an AISC of $US750/oz.