- OceanaGold (OGC) has hit its 2020 production targets, but reported a significant slide compared to its 2019 figures
- Gold production for the year came to a total of 301,675 ounces, representing a major fall from a total of more than 470,000 ounces in 2019
- 99,155 ounces were produced in the fourth quarter of 2020, a 57 per cent increase over the prior quarter
- The company is continuing to work with the Government of the Phillipines to finalise an FTAA renewal for its Didipio operation
- Shares in OceanaGold were down 3.39 per cent at the close of trading yesterday to $2.28 each
OceanaGold (OGC) has hit its 2020 production targets, but reported a significant slide compared to its 2019 figures.
The company produced a total of 301,675 ounces for the year, which put it at the lower end of its previously announced estimate of between 295,000 and 345,000 on October 29. However, the full-year figure represents a major decline compared to 2019's production, which came to a total of more than 470,000 ounces.
99,155 ounces were produced in the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting a 57 per cent increase compared to the prior quarter as a result of improved head grades at OceanaGold's Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina and its Macraes operation in New Zealand.
The higher grades also drove an improvement in fourth-quarter all-in sustaining costs, which came to US$1,075 (A$1,399) per ounce on sales of 96,398 ounces of gold compared to US$1,276 (A$1,660) per ounce the rest of the year.
Haile, which OceanaGold purchased from Romarco Minerals in late 2015, produced a total of 137,413 ounces of gold, 48,988 of which came in the fourth quarter.
Despite 63 positive COVID-19 cases over the course of 2020, as well as 500 workers required to self-isolate, the company was able to access the higher-grade zones of Haile's open pits and increased mine utilisation rates. Mining of these zones is expected to continue throughout the first half of 2021 before grades reduce in the second half consistent with the open pit mine sequence.
OceanaGold said it is continuing to progress its Martha Underground operation, with first production currently targeted for the second quarter of 2021. Underground development advanced 2,276 metres in the fourth quarter, taking development to a total of 7,371 metres for the year.
Notably, the company said it is in discussions with the Government of the Phillipines to finalise the terms of the FTAA renewal for its Didipio Mine. The renewal is expected to be sent to the Office of the President for approval, but OceanaGold stressed that achieving steady state production will be dependent on the timing of the renewal and workforce recruitment efforts.
Michael Holmes, President and CEO of OceanaGold, said the company is anticipating stronger year-over-year production in 2021 and beyond.
"Our robust organic growth pipeline is advancing to plan, and we are excited to bring Martha Underground into full production in the second quarter."
"Exploration remains a critical part of the OceanaGold story, and we will continue to invest in the drill bit to discover and convert ounces at each of our operations." he added.
The company is expected to release its inaugural multi-year guidance on February 18.
Shares in OceanaGold were down 3.39 per cent at the close of trading yesterday to $2.28 each.