At OceanaGold, giving back is part of our DNA.

We often talk about responsible mining and sustainability being fundamental to the way we do business, but what does that look like in our day to day lives?

“We live and work in the communities that host our operations. We are part of the community and its critically important we get involved and build and maintain meaningful relationships,” said OceanaGold President and CEO Michael Holmes.

“We pride ourselves as being responsible miners and giving back to the community comes naturally to OceanaGold and our employees – it’s part of our culture,” he said.

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. This year, OceanaGold has assisted communities through the global pandemic by donating time and goods and helping local economies by forming partnerships.

Let’s look at some of the ways OceanaGold and its employees have contributed to our host communities in 2020.

At our Waihi Operation in the North Island of New Zealand, a team of 30 volunteers established the Waihi Mines Recue Team and assist in emergency responses across the local community. The team has been involved in many rescues – of both the animal and human variety. During COVID-19, the volunteer team worked with the Waihi Salvation Army and local schools to deliver more than 240 essential food packages to families in need. They also raised over $20,000 for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand in the Auckland Sky Tower Challenge.

In South Carolina in the United States where COVID-19 continues to be a challenge, our team (and their families) at the Haile Gold Mine dug deep to support the local community.

Jacob Clark, the nine-year-old son of Haile’s Senior Health, Safety & Security Training Coordinator, and member of Haile’s Mine Rescue Team, Russell Clark, helped to serve warm meals to elderly residents across Kershaw and Heath Springs. Other members of the Haile team made protective masks for the elderly and supported local nursing homes by supplying treats, games, art suppliers, greeting cards, murals, sidewalk art, stamps, and food and drink deliveries.

To continue supporting the community over the Christmas holiday period, the team organised two toy drives – the first with toys and donations for Samaritan’s Purse, and the second for the Mt Calvary Outreach Center, which serves hundreds of local Kershaw children. Santa and his elves (all part of Haile’s Mine Rescue Team) delivered the large pile of toys from under the Haile Family Christmas tree to the Depot for Mt Calvary’s “Drive-Thru” Holiday Christmas Party.

At the Didipio Mine in the Philippines, our team earmarked approximately PhP6-million Social Development Management Program funding to provide COVID-19 relief for the mine’s host and adjacent communities.  The team packed and distributed relief goods, including food and medical supplies, to almost 19,000 households in Didipio and adjacent barangays, and donated more than 4,300 face masks, 4,000 surgical masks, 80 gallons sanitising alcohol and other PPE such as goggles, full body coveralls, and disposable gloves.

“We are doing the best we can to support our partner communities as they address this health crisis and respond during this difficult time,” said Executive General Manager David Way.

Similar sentiment was felt by our team at the Macraes Operation in New Zealand’s South Island, who donated two unused respirator fit test kits to the Dunedin Hospital to help ensure frontline heath workers were properly protected.

IT Engineer Gerard Hyland took part in the ShieldsUpNZ movement – a crowdsourced stopgap initiative for PPE in the early phases of the pandemic – which involved members of the community helping to make shields for doctors and other health professionals using 3D printers. Gerard worked around the clock, producing 12 shields every 24 hours.

 

 

 

 

The power of giving
The power of giving
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050

This article was published in the Mining Journal in December 2020: OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining

For 30 years, OceanaGold has contributed to excellence in the mining industry by delivering innovative solutions, sustainable environmental and social outcomes and strong returns.

In 1990, OceanaGold poured its first gold bar at the Macraes operation in the South Island of New Zealand. Thirty years on, as it celebrates its anniversary, the miner is about to commence the development of three new projects at the Macraes Operation.

President and CEO, Michael Holmes, said 2020 has been a year unlike any other and that even though OceanaGold was celebrating its 30th anniversary amidst challenging times, the team’s drive, industry expertise and experience navigating market cycles guided the company forward.

“We have a strong and sustainable future ahead of us. Our organic growth pipeline represents decades of opportunities for our company and is one of the best in the gold industry,” Michael said.

“I’m most proud of our people. Our company is built on the passion, resilience, progressive thinking and expertise each member of the OceanaGold team brings to our world class operations every day.”

 OceanaGold currently operates the Waihi and Macraes operations in the North and South Islands of New Zealand, the Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina, USA, and the Didipio Mine in The Philippines.

New Zealand

With an initial mine life of seven years, Macraes has since gone on to be the lifeblood of the company and today, stands as New Zealand’s largest active gold producing mine, having produced over five million ounces of gold since that first pour. With consents received, work is starting on the new Golden Point Underground and additional open pit expansions.

The modern Globe Progress Mine near Reefton on the West Coast in the South Island of New Zealand opened in 2006 and just over 610,000 ounces of gold was mined from the open pit operation between 2007 and 2016. Now known as the Reefton Restoration Project, the site is a leading practice mine closure and rehabilitation project. Central to the project is the re-establishment of vital ecosystems in the new post-mining landscape.

The Waihi region in New Zealand’s North Island has a long history of discovery, development and successful production. When OceanaGold acquired the Waihi Operation in 2015, the company committed to extending the life of the mine, which was delivered with the start of the Martha Underground development in 2019. In July 2020, OceanaGold released the Waihi District Study, a Preliminary Economic Assessment that identified significant and exciting opportunities to expand the existing operation at Waihi and the potential for a new underground mine at Wharekirauponga to the north.

The Philippines

In 2006, OceanaGold acquired the Didipio Copper-Gold Project in the Philippines and developed it into a world class gold-copper operation. Early construction commenced in 2010 and commercial open pit operations began in 2013. In 2015 the operation transitioned from open pit to underground.

Over the years, OceanaGold has built partnerships with the communities, government and businesses that hosted and helped run the operation. Since commencing operations in 2013, over US$890 million has been invested in procurement, wages, training and education, payments to government, community development and environmental partnerships.

OceanaGold President and CEO, Michael Holmes, said Didipio is an example of how to deliver responsible and profitable mining that genuinely cares about shared benefits for people and the environment.

“To date, the team has achieved one of the best safety records globally and demonstrate how mining can contribute to skills development, job creation and livelihood opportunities for local communities. We are committed to rehire hundreds of workers and restart operations once the operation’s Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement is renewed – we are ready and waiting for that opportunity,” Michael said.

USA

In 2015, OceanaGold acquired the Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina, USA, and continued its development. The first gold from the modern Haile Gold Mine was poured in January 2017 and commercial production commenced in October that year.

In September 2020, OceanaGold announced the updated Haile Technical Report which demonstrates long-term value and significant organic growth opportunity for the operation, including the expansion of open pit mining and a new underground opportunity.

 A bright future ahead

OceanaGold continually explores new opportunities at each of its operations, with a focus on delivering stakeholder value, sustainability and contributing to the communities it works and lives in.

Looking to the future, OceanaGold’s President and CEO, Michael Holmes, said their most promising growth projects were now coming online, and this means building three new underground mines, expanding three open pits and continuing to explore the greater Waihi district.

“We believe the delivery of these projects translates to real value for current and prospective shareholders over the long-term. OceanaGold is a resilient and dynamic gold miner with a strong and sustainable future. Our organic growth pipeline is one of the best in the industry, representing decades of opportunity for our company, and my team and I look forward to delivering that value,” Michael said.

“We’re mining gold for a better future. While this year has had its challenges, we look forward to delivering enduring value through innovation, performance and sustainable growth,” he said.

OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A space for reflection in Waihi
A space for reflection in Waihi

Bees are producing a new manuka honey blend at the Reefton Restoration Project, with community and the environment the real winners

When the Buller District Council’s Socio-Economic Development Officer Rachel Fifield first stepped into Reefton’s Broadway Team Rooms and spotted a jar of the small town’s famed Browkins Honey, she had an idea.

OceanaGold – the global miner funding Rachel’s position for three years through the Reefton Restoration Project’s Socio-Economic Governance Fund – had planted a 250-hectare parcel of land with manuka and beech varieties to boost pollination of native species and increase biodiversity at the site. Rachel immediately saw the link.

“The local shop keeper pointed me to Oscar Brown, the founder and apiarist at Browkins, who’s partner happened to work out the back of the shop,” Rachel said.

“My job is to connect people and develop solutions that safeguard an economically diverse future for Reefton, post-mining,” she said.

“I thought, this is too good an opportunity to pass up: a small, local honey producer who could potentially expand his business through accessing this lush landscape at the Reefton Restoration project, which also met the Project’s environmental objectives. Gladly, both he and OceanaGold shared my enthusiasm.”

Browkins Honey, OceanaGold and the Reefton Visitor Centre have recently entered into a formal partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding to produce, bottle and sell the special manuka honey blend – aptly named ‘Reefton Gold’.

Browkins Honey has so far introduced around 50 hives to the site and will eventually sell the honey through the local I-site and West Coast markets, generating income and providing yet another diversified revenue stream to the region. With the new venture now up and running, Oscar Brown and his family plan to move closer to Reefton.

The Reefton Restoration Project’s Environmental & Restoration Coordinator Steph Hayton said the partnership was a win-win.

“The town of Reefton benefits from the introduction of a new, local family business and our site (the former Globe Progress Mine, now in the rehabilitation phase) is helped along by the pollination process of the bees,” she said.

Long-term, with the bee population doing its job, Reefton’s native species will self-generate and the site will return to its natural state much faster than it would have without the hives.

OceanaGold’s Environment Manager Kerry Watson said this is what responsible mine closure looked like.

“This initiative is community-focused at heart and such a clever, natural way to turn a post-mining landscape into productive land use, while improving biodiversity outcomes,” he said.

The power of giving
The power of giving
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050

This article was published in the Mining Journal in November 2020: OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050

Last week global mining company OceanaGold made a commitment to immediate climate action, releasing a new statement of position on climate change that sets a net zero operational greenhouse emissions goal by 2050.

According to S&P Global, nearly 1.0 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) was emitted per ounce of gold produced globally in 2019[1], so it comes as no surprise that climate change has become a critical focus for the gold mining industry.

OceanaGold is already on track to reduce its carbon footprint. At 0.53 tonnes of CO2e per ounce of gold produced in 2019, OceanaGold’s emissions are much lower than the global average.

With increasing concerns about the industry’s impact on climate change and a growing environmental and social governance (ESG) focus from investors around the world, many organisations are planning for a just process to move to a net zero economy and society.

Climate change also presents a financial risk to the global economy. The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) provides a framework to help organisations effectively report on climate risk, becoming the benchmark for ESG reporting on climate risk management and performance.

OceanaGold has established a roadmap of strategic actions to help reduce the company’s carbon footprint and improve energy management, including:

  • Setting the goal to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050
  • Establishing milestone interim emission targets by the end of 2021
  • Establishing a climate change Technical Coordinating Committee to identify opportunities to reduce GHG emission intensity, and identify risks, opportunities, priorities and associated costs
  • Undertaking climate change management and reporting to meet the requirements of the TCFD.

Setting the foundation

OceanaGold has a solid understanding of its current carbon emission and is a low greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter compared to the global gold mining average. 

Michael Holmes, President and Chief Executive Officer at OceanaGold said the company had been deeply committed to responsible mining for 30 years and was proud to be taking action to manage its carbon footprint.

“There is a long way to go, and our journey to net zero emissions won’t be linear. It will vary depending on production cycles, national infrastructure constraints and company growth opportunities,” Michael said.

OceanaGold aims to achieve the carbon reduction goal through the implementation of four key strategic areas:

  1. Improved energy efficiency and energy reduction
  2. Decarbonisation of electrical energy supply
  3. Decarbonisation of mobile equipment fuel
  4. Carbon sequestration.

“Deliberate and timely implementation of the four key carbon reduction strategies can reduce GHG emission intensity in line with OceanaGold’s goal and targets,” Michael said.

Macraes, a journey to a low-emissions gold mine

At the Macraes mine on the South Island of New Zealand, OceanaGold has already started scoping what a possible net zero carbon mine looks like.

Matthew Hine, General Manager for the Macraes Operation said this included the opportunity to implement a partial conversion of its fleet to electricity and biodiesel, and offset carbon dioxide emissions by increasing forestry offsets.

“Electrifying some of the mining fleet and blending biodiesel into the existing diesel consumption would reduce Scope 1 emissions by as much as 43 per cent” Matthew said.

“Macraes has partnered with the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to bring on an Energy Engineer who will work with us to integrate renewables and identify opportunities to continuously reduce our environmental impact,” he said.

 Looking to the future

Setting a goal is only the first step. OceanaGold will now turn its focus to implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and set clear actions and activities for the future.

Michael Holmes, President and Chief Executive Officer at OceanaGold said since 2018, OceanaGold had been implementing a company-wide program of automation, digital and process transformation called ADaPT, which was helping the company define its journey to operate the mines of the future.

“Digital transformation presents an industry-wide opportunity to enhance performance and reduce impact. Our commitment for 2020 was to develop strategies to mitigate the risks associated with climate change and establish measures and targets to improve the efficiency of our energy use and to minimise our greenhouse gas emissions intensity,” Michael said.

“A central part of the industry’s commitment to reducing its impact on climate is technology, this is where the opportunity lies. Rapid advances in technology innovation, including automation, digitisation and electrification are central to the mining industry’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact,” he said.

The power of giving
The power of giving
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050

When an investment in people – and their investment in you – align to return dividends

When General Manager Project Execution David Bickerton first met Project Engineer Armin Musa at OceanaGold’s Didipio Mine in the Philippines, he knew he was looking at one of the company’s future leaders.

“It’s not often you identify someone that early in their career as having the capability and capacity to lead, but that’s what happened when I started working with Armin,” David said.

The pair met at the Didipio Mine in 2012 when David was project managing the construction and commissioning of the site and Armin had recently commenced as a Distributed Control System Engineer (electrical engineer).

“Armin’s technical ability is second to none and he’s incredibly disciplined, but what made him stand out was his strong desire to succeed. He asks the hard questions, takes a challenge head on, coaches others and circles back for feedback…at OceanaGold, that’s the makings of a leader,” David said.

With the backing of OceanaGold’s Executive Leadership Team, David put Armin on an accelerated leadership pathway, which has involved a six-month secondment to the Haile Gold Mine in the United States where he gained invaluable operational experience commissioning the processing plant. More recently, Armin was offered a corporate position at the company’s Brisbane office where he is playing a key role in advancing an integral digitisation and electrification project that will significantly improve mining fleet efficiency, contributing to OceanaGold’s climate change objectives.

“So far, Armin has done exactly what I thought he would do: excel,” David said.

Armin is very humble about his future career path and is grateful for the opportunities that OceanaGold has provided, but there’s a definite spark when you speak with him about working with the company.

“There’s a visible leadership culture at OceanaGold. There’s been several times where I’ve been put on the spot and asked to contribute my ideas and thoughts to fix a problem, and while that’s sometimes difficult, I thrive in those moments; those times when I’m challenged,” Armin said.

“I’ve worked hard and OceanaGold has recognised that – they encourage their employees to develop sustained careers with them and they reward that effort. I think that’s rare for a global mining company.”

That commitment to personal and professional development includes sponsoring Armin to undertake a master’s degree in electrical engineering, which he completed last year.

“Working for almost eight years at the Didipio Mine, I have met and worked with many dedicated and skilled people who share the same work etiquette and career aspirations as I do,” he said.

“I’m not for one second wasting the opportunities that I’ve been afforded, and it’s my sincere hope that my Filipino colleagues have the same prospects in the near future.”

Finding gold
Finding gold
From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow
Getting it Right
Getting it Right

Marking OceanaGold’s 30-year anniversary and a future full of opportunity

Today marks a milestone. It’s 30 years since we poured our first gold bar at the Macraes Operation in New Zealand.

For 30 years, we contributed to excellence in our industry by delivering innovative solutions, sustainable environmental and social outcomes and strong returns.

Back in November 1990, the company was called Macraes Mining Company Ltd and the operation had a mine life of seven years. Macraes has since gone on to be the lifeblood of the company and today, stands as New Zealand’s largest active gold producing mine, having produced over five million ounces of gold since that first pour.

Over the last 30 days we have celebrated ‘Our Journey to 30’, taking a trip down memory lane to look back at our history and the stories that shaped our culture and make us the company we are today.

We’ve celebrated the backbone of our company – our people – and the opportunities that shaped us to be a modern, high-performing and responsible miner.

President and CEO, Michael Holmes, said 2020 has been a year unlike any other and that even though OceanaGold was celebrating our 30th amidst challenging times, the team’s  drive, industry expertise and experience navigating market cycles guided the company forward.

“We have a strong and sustainable future ahead of us. Our organic growth pipeline represents decades of opportunities for our company and is one of the best in the gold industry,” Michael said.

“I’m most proud of our people. Our company is built on the passion, resilience, progressive thinking and expertise each member of the OceanaGold team brings to our world class operations every day,” he said.

Looking back

At our Waihi and Macraes Operations in New Zealand and at the Haile Gold Mine in the United States, mining spans centuries.

Our Haile Gold Mine is the oldest and longest-operating mine in North America – pre-dating the Californian gold rush by a generation. Gold was first discovered in the region in 1827, in a stream on the property of Captain Benjamin Haile. Mining started two years later and the mine was already 60 years old when the neighbouring town of Kershaw was established. Between 1829–1993 the Haile Mine produced over 360,000 ounces of gold. We poured the first gold from the modern Haile Gold Mine in January 2017 and the current life of mine extends to 2031+.

James Crombie, a local prospector, first discovered alluvial gold in Deepdell Creek in 1862, starting a gold rush in the Macraes region. The first ore body worked at Macraes Flat was the Duke of Edinburgh in 1875. The Golden Point mine opened in 1889 and was a significant and successful scheelite (tungsten) and gold producer. The Macraes Operation continues to have an extraordinary journey of efficiency and adaptation. The operation’s success stems from the high level of expertise and innovation of its employees – an integral aspect since its modern beginnings in 1990.

At Waihi, John McCombie and Robert Lee discovered gold on Pukewa, also known as Martha Hill, in 1878. Underground mining commenced a year later and by 1882 the first stamper battery was in operation. The original underground Martha Mine closed in 1952. For 70 years the mine employed a workforce averaging 600 people, extended to a depth of 600 metres, and produced 5.6 million ounces of gold and 38.4 million ounces of silver. We acquired the Waihi Operation in 2015 and current mine life extends to 2036+.

While some of our operations are much older than our company, we are proud of the history and legacy of each.

A modern mining era

After starting as Macraes Mining Company Ltd in 1990, we acquired the Reefton Goldfield in New Zealand in 1991. The modern Globe Progress Mine opened in 2006 and just over 610,000 ounces of gold was mined from the open pit operation between 2007 and 2016. Now known as the Reefton Restoration Project, the site is a leading-practice mine closure and rehabilitation project. Central to the project is the re-establishment of vital ecosystems in the new post-mining landscape.

OceanaGold Ltd. was established in 2003 and is listed under “OGC” on the Australian and Toronto Stock Exchanges. Throughout our history we have proudly advanced  knowledge in our field and delivered award-winning initiatives driven by a commitment to social, economic, operational, and environmental sustainability.

In 2006 we acquired the Didipio Copper-Gold Project in the Philippines and developed it into a truly world class gold-copper operation. Early construction commenced in 2010 and commercial open pit operations began in 2013. In 2015 the operation transitioned from open pit to underground and in 2018 we commissioned the first ever paste plant in the Philippines,  which meant underground workings could be safely backfilled after mining activities were completed.

In addition to technical innovation at Didipio, we built partnerships with the communities, government and businesses that hosted and helped us run the operation. Since commencing operations in 2013, we have invested over US$890 million in procurement, wages, training and education, payments to government, community development and environmental partnerships.

While restrictions on the operation have meant we’re not operating the Didipio Mine right now, it’s an excellent gold and copper producing asset, with an outstanding workforce and best practice standards.

OceanaGold President and CEO, Michael Holmes, said Didipio is an example of how to deliver responsible and profitable mining that genuinely cares about shared benefits for people and the environment in the Philippines.

“To date, the team has achieved one of the best safety records globally and represents how mining can contribute to skills development, job creation and livelihood opportunities for local communities. We are committed to rehire hundreds of workers and restart operations once the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) is renewed – we are ready and waiting for that opportunity,” Michael said.

In 2015 we acquired the Haile Gold Mine and continued its development. We poured the first gold from the modern Haile Gold Mine in January 2017 and commercial production commenced in October that year. In September 2020, we announced the updated Haile Technical Report which demonstrates long-term value and significant organic growth opportunity for the operation, including the expansion of open pit mining and a new underground opportunity.

The Waihi region has a history of discovery, development and successful production. When we acquired the Waihi Operation in 2015, we committed to extending the life of the mine and we were pleased to deliver on that commitment with the commencement of the Martha underground mine development in 2019. In July 2020 we released the Waihi District Study, a Preliminary Economic Assessment that identified significant and exciting opportunities to expand the existing operation at Waihi and the potential for a new underground mine at Wharekirauponga to the north.

Built by great people

Over the last 30 days we have also celebrated the people who have contributed to our success along the way.

From our Chief Development Officer, Mark Cadzow, who joined us as a metallurgist at Macraes in 1990 and has grown with our company; to Oliver Donato, who started his career as one of our scholars in the Philippines and, in 2019, was awarded as the Outstanding Pollution Control Officer of the Pollution Control Association of the Philippines.

From Colin Purcell and Lorrance Torkler, who have both worked at our Waihi Operation for over 30 years and have a deep understanding of the mine’s operations and geology; to David Thomas, who has built a proud legacy and close community relationships at our Haile Gold Mine; and Ken Thomas who has contributed to our Macraes Operation for over 25 years after starting as one of the mine’s first operators.

These are just a few of the stories of the incredible people who work, and have worked, at OceanaGold and you’ll find many more stories on our people and careers blog.

 Looking ahead

We’re mining gold for a better future. While this year has had its challenges, we’re a resilient and dynamic gold miner, trusted to deliver enduring value through innovation, performance and sustainable growth.

Driven by our values, we continue to explore new opportunities at each of our operations, with a focus on sustainability and contributing to the communities we work and live in.

In New Zealand, we are delivering best practice mine rehabilitation at our Reefton Restoration Project. Following progressive rehabilitation of the site throughout the life of the mine, we are undertaking innovative planting, capping and water treatment projects and are also focused on supporting a sustainable future for the town of Reefton.

Further south at the Macraes Operation we’ve extended the mine life at the operation and see many additional opportunities ahead. Development of a new underground project, the Golden Point Underground, and extensions to Deepdell Open Pit and Frasers Open Pit – will extend the mine life at the operation to 2028.

When talking about the Macraes Operation, General Manager, Matthew Hine, said: “From an initial mine life of seven years, our desire to always keep improving has seen us become an operation, and company, that’s celebrated on the world stage. We know who we are, what we represent, how we want to treat each other and how we want to mine. With a commitment to always improve and a great leadership team, we have an exciting future ahead of us.”

In the North Island of New Zealand at the Waihi Operation, the Martha Underground is on track for first production in the second quarter of 2021. We’ve commenced consultation and engagement around the Project Quattro and Wharekirauponga opportunities and continue our exploration and resource conversion program.

When talking about the exciting opportunities ahead of us at the Waihi Operation, Acting General Manager, Daniel Calderwood said: “We’re in a very busy period of the mine’s life. The best is yet to come, here at Waihi, and for OceanaGold. The team here at Waihi are excited for the future and to see Waihi continue to prosper as we develop our projects here, and to the north at Wharekirauponga.”

Over the next two years we will employ an additional 200 people at the Haile Gold Mine in the United States as we continue to enhance the performance of this relatively young mine, expand our open pit operations and develop the Haile Underground Project in early to mid-2021.

When talking about what’s next at our Haile Gold Mine, Executive General Manager, Jim Whittaker said: “It never gets old, watching the sun rise over this mine. Every day it’s a reminder of the bright future and golden opportunity laying ahead, and below, for Haile Gold Mine. We’re building on a long legacy of gold mining in the south, and it’s an exciting time to be here.”

We’re proud to be celebrating 30 years of people and performance at OceanaGold and we look forward to the next 30 years. In 2021 we start a new chapter in the company’s life, as we deliver our exciting organic growth opportunities, under our responsible mining framework, and what it means to work the OceanaGold way.

OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A space for reflection in Waihi
A space for reflection in Waihi
Celebrating 30

Marking OceanaGold’s 30-year anniversary and a future full of opportunity

Today marks a milestone. It’s 30 years since we poured our first gold bar at the Macraes Operation in New Zealand.

For 30 years, we contributed to excellence in our industry by delivering innovative solutions, sustainable environmental and social outcomes and strong returns.

Back in November 1990, the company was called Macraes Mining Company Ltd and the operation had a mine life of seven years. Macraes has since gone on to be the lifeblood of the company and today, stands as New Zealand’s largest active gold producing mine, having produced over five million ounces of gold since that first pour.

Over the last 30 days we have celebrated ‘Our Journey to 30’, taking a trip down memory lane to look back at our history and the stories that shaped our culture and make us the company we are today.

We’ve celebrated the backbone of our company – our people – and the opportunities that shaped us to be a modern, high-performing and responsible miner.

President and CEO, Michael Holmes, said 2020 has been a year unlike any other and that even though OceanaGold was celebrating our 30th amidst challenging times, the team’s  drive, industry expertise and experience navigating market cycles guided the company forward.

“We have a strong and sustainable future ahead of us. Our organic growth pipeline represents decades of opportunities for our company and is one of the best in the gold industry,” Michael said.

“I’m most proud of our people. Our company is built on the passion, resilience, progressive thinking and expertise each member of the OceanaGold team brings to our world class operations every day,” he said.

Looking back

At our Waihi and Macraes Operations in New Zealand and at the Haile Gold Mine in the United States, mining spans centuries.

Our Haile Gold Mine is the oldest and longest-operating mine in North America – pre-dating the Californian gold rush by a generation. Gold was first discovered in the region in 1827, in a stream on the property of Captain Benjamin Haile. Mining started two years later and the mine was already 60 years old when the neighbouring town of Kershaw was established. Between 1829–1993 the Haile Mine produced over 360,000 ounces of gold. We poured the first gold from the modern Haile Gold Mine in January 2017 and the current life of mine extends to 2031+.

James Crombie, a local prospector, first discovered alluvial gold in Deepdell Creek in 1862, starting a gold rush in the Macraes region. The first ore body worked at Macraes Flat was the Duke of Edinburgh in 1875. The Golden Point mine opened in 1889 and was a significant and successful scheelite (tungsten) and gold producer. The Macraes Operation continues to have an extraordinary journey of efficiency and adaptation. The operation’s success stems from the high level of expertise and innovation of its employees – an integral aspect since its modern beginnings in 1990.

At Waihi, John McCombie and Robert Lee discovered gold on Pukewa, also known as Martha Hill, in 1878. Underground mining commenced a year later and by 1882 the first stamper battery was in operation. The original underground Martha Mine closed in 1952. For 70 years the mine employed a workforce averaging 600 people, extended to a depth of 600 metres, and produced 5.6 million ounces of gold and 38.4 million ounces of silver. We acquired the Waihi Operation in 2015 and current mine life extends to 2036+.

While some of our operations are much older than our company, we are proud of the history and legacy of each.

A modern mining era

After starting as Macraes Mining Company Ltd in 1990, we acquired the Reefton Goldfield in New Zealand in 1991. The modern Globe Progress Mine opened in 2006 and just over 610,000 ounces of gold was mined from the open pit operation between 2007 and 2016. Now known as the Reefton Restoration Project, the site is a leading-practice mine closure and rehabilitation project. Central to the project is the re-establishment of vital ecosystems in the new post-mining landscape.

OceanaGold Ltd. was established in 2003 and is listed under “OGC” on the Australian and Toronto Stock Exchanges. Throughout our history we have proudly advanced  knowledge in our field and delivered award-winning initiatives driven by a commitment to social, economic, operational, and environmental sustainability.

In 2006 we acquired the Didipio Copper-Gold Project in the Philippines and developed it into a truly world class gold-copper operation. Early construction commenced in 2010 and commercial open pit operations began in 2013. In 2015 the operation transitioned from open pit to underground and in 2018 we commissioned the first ever paste plant in the Philippines,  which meant underground workings could be safely backfilled after mining activities were completed.

In addition to technical innovation at Didipio, we built partnerships with the communities, government and businesses that hosted and helped us run the operation. Since commencing operations in 2013, we have invested over US$890 million in procurement, wages, training and education, payments to government, community development and environmental partnerships.

While restrictions on the operation have meant we’re not operating the Didipio Mine right now, it’s an excellent gold and copper producing asset, with an outstanding workforce and best practice standards.

OceanaGold President and CEO, Michael Holmes, said Didipio is an example of how to deliver responsible and profitable mining that genuinely cares about shared benefits for people and the environment in the Philippines.

“To date, the team has achieved one of the best safety records globally and represents how mining can contribute to skills development, job creation and livelihood opportunities for local communities. We are committed to rehire hundreds of workers and restart operations once the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) is renewed – we are ready and waiting for that opportunity,” Michael said.

In 2015 we acquired the Haile Gold Mine and continued its development. We poured the first gold from the modern Haile Gold Mine in January 2017 and commercial production commenced in October that year. In September 2020, we announced the updated Haile Technical Report which demonstrates long-term value and significant organic growth opportunity for the operation, including the expansion of open pit mining and a new underground opportunity.

The Waihi region has a history of discovery, development and successful production. When we acquired the Waihi Operation in 2015, we committed to extending the life of the mine and we were pleased to deliver on that commitment with the commencement of the Martha underground mine development in 2019. In July 2020 we released the Waihi District Study, a Preliminary Economic Assessment that identified significant and exciting opportunities to expand the existing operation at Waihi and the potential for a new underground mine at Wharekirauponga to the north.

Built by great people

Over the last 30 days we have also celebrated the people who have contributed to our success along the way.

From our Chief Development Officer, Mark Cadzow, who joined us as a metallurgist at Macraes in 1990 and has grown with our company; to Oliver Donato, who started his career as one of our scholars in the Philippines and, in 2019, was awarded as the Outstanding Pollution Control Officer of the Pollution Control Association of the Philippines.

From Colin Purcell and Lorrance Torkler, who have both worked at our Waihi Operation for over 30 years and have a deep understanding of the mine’s operations and geology; to David Thomas, who has built a proud legacy and close community relationships at our Haile Gold Mine; and Ken Thomas who has contributed to our Macraes Operation for over 25 years after starting as one of the mine’s first operators.

These are just a few of the stories of the incredible people who work, and have worked, at OceanaGold and you’ll find many more stories on our people and careers blog.

 Looking ahead

We’re mining gold for a better future. While this year has had its challenges, we’re a resilient and dynamic gold miner, trusted to deliver enduring value through innovation, performance and sustainable growth.

Driven by our values, we continue to explore new opportunities at each of our operations, with a focus on sustainability and contributing to the communities we work and live in.

In New Zealand, we are delivering best practice mine rehabilitation at our Reefton Restoration Project. Following progressive rehabilitation of the site throughout the life of the mine, we are undertaking innovative planting, capping and water treatment projects and are also focused on supporting a sustainable future for the town of Reefton.

Further south at the Macraes Operation we’ve extended the mine life at the operation and see many additional opportunities ahead. Development of a new underground project, the Golden Point Underground, and extensions to Deepdell Open Pit and Frasers Open Pit – will extend the mine life at the operation to 2028.

When talking about the Macraes Operation, General Manager, Matthew Hine, said: “From an initial mine life of seven years, our desire to always keep improving has seen us become an operation, and company, that’s celebrated on the world stage. We know who we are, what we represent, how we want to treat each other and how we want to mine. With a commitment to always improve and a great leadership team, we have an exciting future ahead of us.”

In the North Island of New Zealand at the Waihi Operation, the Martha Underground is on track for first production in the second quarter of 2021. We’ve commenced consultation and engagement around the Project Quattro and Wharekirauponga opportunities and continue our exploration and resource conversion program.

When talking about the exciting opportunities ahead of us at the Waihi Operation, Acting General Manager, Daniel Calderwood said: “We’re in a very busy period of the mine’s life. The best is yet to come, here at Waihi, and for OceanaGold. The team here at Waihi are excited for the future and to see Waihi continue to prosper as we develop our projects here, and to the north at Wharekirauponga.”

Over the next two years we will employ an additional 200 people at the Haile Gold Mine in the United States as we continue to enhance the performance of this relatively young mine, expand our open pit operations and develop the Haile Underground Project in early to mid-2021.

When talking about what’s next at our Haile Gold Mine, Executive General Manager, Jim Whittaker said: “It never gets old, watching the sun rise over this mine. Every day it’s a reminder of the bright future and golden opportunity laying ahead, and below, for Haile Gold Mine. We’re building on a long legacy of gold mining in the south, and it’s an exciting time to be here.”

We’re proud to be celebrating 30 years of people and performance at OceanaGold and we look forward to the next 30 years. In 2021 we start a new chapter in the company’s life, as we deliver our exciting organic growth opportunities, under our responsible mining framework, and what it means to work the OceanaGold way.

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile

“It never gets old, watching the sun rise over this mine. Every day it’s a reminder of the bright future and golden opportunity laying ahead, and below, for Haile Gold Mine.

Hear from our #Haile Gold Mine Executive General Manager, Jim Whittaker, about the history and bright future for Haile.

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi


“We’re in a very busy period of the mine’s life. The best is yet to come, here at Waihi, and for OceanaGold. The team here at Waihi are excited for the future. I’m excited to see Waihi continue prosper as we develop our projects here, and to the north at Wharekirauponga.”

Having announced exiting future opportunities for the Waihi Operation, hear from Acting General Manager, Dan Calderwood about the next chapter for this great operation.

 

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi

An investment in human capital is underpinning South Carolina’s 21st century gold rush

An initial 12-month contract at the Haile Gold Mine turned into a 12-year career for Vice President and Country Director, David Thomas, who humbly credits his success and longevity to his team and the local South Carolinians who have continuously supported him.

When you hear David speak about the people he works with, it’s easy to understand how the operation prioritises people and why so many locals have established their careers at the mine.

“Without a doubt, the Haile team is like family,” he says, adding proudly that they are “world-class experts operating a world-class mine.”

The Haile Gold Mine is the largest gold mine on the east coast of America and will reach its 200th anniversary in 2027. OceanaGold purchased the mine in 2015 and commenced modern mining operations in 2017.

“I honestly think it’s the people that have worked with us – generations of families – that have supported the project become a successful operation,” David said.

When he first joined the Haile Gold Mine in 2008, David made an early commitment to the community and immediately commenced a journey of engaging with the mine’s stakeholders. It was important to him that Haile played its part in the continued economic development of the Kershaw region.

“I remember attending a community forum as part of an Environmental Impact Statement permitting process in 2014. Something that Linda White (Community Relations Coordinator) said when she addressed the crowd stuck with me, and they are words I’ve lived by as my career has progressed with the company. “She said: ‘Haile does not talk about the things they do because they are busy doing them.’”

Today, over 80% of the operation’s workforce is local to the region and the company’s policy to prioritise local procurement, means about 20 per cent of its total procurement spend is invested in the local supply chain, and 95 percent is invested within the United States.

In 2011, David was awarded Citizen of the Year by both the Mining Association of South Carolina and the Town of Kershaw. And it’s easy to see why.

“Developing trust is important to me, and to OceanaGold. I’ve always been open with the community and the people I work with. While it takes time and patience to build and maintain those relationships, the effort results in collaboration and cohesion.”

In September 2020, OceanaGold announced extensive future opportunities at Haile, extending the mine life to at least 2033. The company plans to commence development of the Horseshoe Underground in 2021 with first production targeted for late 2022.

“The next phase at Haile is exciting. We’re moving from only open pit mining to underground, which brings with it new opportunities to innovate as we introduce new technologies, systems and processes to operate safely and productively.

“For our people, that means continued learning and career development – and that’s a legacy I’m proud to be associated with.”

Finding gold
Finding gold
From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow
Getting it Right
Getting it Right
Proud journey to 30 and beyond for Macraes

“From an initial mine life of seven years, our hunger and the desire to always keep improving has seen us become an operation, and company, that’s celebrated on the world stage. With a hunger to always improve and a great leadership team, we have an exciting future ahead of us.”

At the place it all started – hear from Matthew Hine, the General Manager at the Macraes Operation about the exciting future for the operation.

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
A final resting place

An unusual find on Haile Gold Mine property in 2017 prompted an archeological survey that revealed a small, single-family, unrecorded cemetery in what has become informally known as the Baker Cemetery.

The Baker cemetery site was discovered by chance in 2017, when an environmental technician scuffed through some leaf litter during a bat and raptor study.

After study, exploration, notification, and consideration, the Baker Cemetery residents have been reinterred into their final resting place at a nearby relative’s family cemetery plot.

Operating under our Cultural and Heritage Sites Standard, the Haile Gold Mine team worked with local regulatory authorities to determine how best to preserve the site. We contracted an independent archaeological team to conduct a more thorough examination, during which we identified seven gravesites in total, all belonging to the Baker family and dating back to the 19th century.

After an extensive investigation, we contacted descendants of the Baker family, who were engaged in the process to relocate the gravesites. We also undertook a significant public stakeholder engagement process involving a six-month notification period, community meetings and four public hearings to agree on a relocation plan. Prior to proceeding with the relocation we attained full and unanimous consent from the Kershaw Community, Regulatory Authorities (State Historic Preservation Office), the State of South Carolina, Town Council and County Council.

In addition to the Baker Cemetery, our Haile Gold mine relocated another abandoned cemetery, known as the Leach Cemetery, in 2012. The Leach Cemetery was established and predominantly used throughout the 19th century.

The Baker and Leach cemeteries are reminders that the areas where mines are located often contain evidence, relics, and history of lives and generations past. All archaeological sites must be treated with the cultural respect and dignity they deserve.

The Haile Gold Mine honours those who lived here before us and takes great care in managing their legacy.

Barbara Baker

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Modern mining in Waihi

As the gold price rose in the 1970s, interest grew in the old Martha Mine at Waihi, which had been closed since 1952. Prospecting commenced in 1979 and in July 1987 construction of the new open pit Martha Mine began. The first gold pour followed less than a year later, and by the end of 1988 the first tonne of bullion had been poured.

In 1999 work on the Martha Mine Extended Project began. Upgraded crushing, conveying, and processing equipment was installed, and a new Water Treatment Plant commissioned. This project would extend mine life to 2007.

The one millionth ounce of gold was poured in 2000, and then in 2004 the Favona underground portal was built. Waihi mining was once again heading underground.

The Cornish Pumphouse was moved in 2006 and the Martha open pit expanded to the south, extending the life of the open pit. In 2012 operations began at the Trio underground mine, and two years later the Correnso underground mine commenced operation.

In 2015 OceanaGold purchased the Waihi operation. The mine now has a life well into the next decade, with plans for the Martha open pit, underground, and further afield at Wharekirauponga to the north of the town.

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Khaki miners

Around the world communities honour the men and women who served to protect their countries.

At our Waihi Operation, our Education Centre houses a special exhibition called Khaki Miners. It’s a reflective space to pay tribute to the New Zealand tunnellers (including many miners from Waihi) who dug underground in France to prepare for the Battle of Arras in World War One.

 

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi

How local community is shaping post-mining Reefton

Standing at the launch of the newly named ‘Golden Globe Theatre’ at the Reefton i-SITE Visitor Centre in early September 2020, local Socio-Economic Development Officer Rachel Fifield is among good company. Company that is as equally invested in the popular local attraction – and in other reinvigoration initiatives – as she is.

Rachel is responsible for supporting projects focused on creating an economically sustainable future for the small town, which up until 2016 when the Globe Progress Mine closed, has been mining its goldfields since the mid-1800s.

It’s no small feat, but only eight months into the role and Rachel is making significant headway.

It’s taken the right person, with vision and creativity, and an open, relationship-based approach to work productively alongside so many and varied stakeholders. Included is her employer, the Buller District Council, and global miner OceanaGold, which is funding her role for three years. And of course, there’s the local community who are, arguably, the most heavily invested in Reefton’s future.

Originally from Nelson, Rachel uprooted in 2018 and moved 2.5 hours south to Reefton. At the beginning of 2020 she participated in a ‘social experiment’ of sorts: to work alongside community, Council and OceanaGold to ensure the legacy left at the former mine (now called the Reefton Restoration Project) met community expectations.

“During production, mining companies naturally invest in the local economy by moving entire operations to town. They employ its people and use local contractors and suppliers…so when mining stops, ethically, you can’t just leave. You would leave a gaping hole, not only in the ground, but in the local market,” Rachel said.

“There’s a moral obligation – especially in small towns like Reefton – for that investment to continue, but we need look beyond direct employment and develop solutions that safeguard a more economically diverse future.”

And that is part of OceanaGold’s vision for Reefton and part of its commitment to sustainability.

“While equally as important, mine closure is not just about environmental rehabilitation and restoration,” Rachel said.

“Sustainable outcomes don’t end when mining stops, so my role is to work with the community to ensure their input shapes the future of Reefton. A big focus of my role and OceanaGold is to ensure the community is economically sustainable.”

“We have established an Economic Diversification Governance Board – with representatives from across local government, iwi, OceanaGold, business and the community – to facilitate and govern the funds provided by the company to ensure the town thrives long after it leaves.”

The Reefton i-Site’s ‘Golden Globe Theatre’ has been once such project. Employing two permanent and two casual staff, the centre provides the new boutique theatre and a unique, underground mining experience for visitors.

“Tourism is important to Reefton, but not only that, the i-Site captures and protects the town’s long mining history dating back to the 19th century.”

There have been other wins along the way where Rachel has linked community members to opportunities that help secure their futures. From travel funding grants for the local netball team, to new employment opportunities for people affected by recent COVID job losses, to expanding a local bee-keeper’s small business by linking him to OceanaGold’s extensive manuka varieties at Reefton.

Humbly, she explains: “My role is to connect people to the right resource, or person, so they can achieve their goals.”

It sounds simple, yet Rachel, who also runs a design studio in the heart of town and sits on the Inangahua Community Board, is consumed (happily) by community dropping in to share their ideas to secure the town’s future.

“Reefton is such a tight-knit community, which I’m so proud to now be a part of. You can see there’s a real energy in town because they have someone dedicated to helping them…OceanaGold made this possible.

“And yes, we’ve ticked off some of the initial projects, but this role hasn’t been done before and there’s so much scope to ensure we make a huge difference in the three years I’m employed.

“Together – Buller District Council, OceanaGold and the local community – we are truly paving the way for what’s possible in small towns after mining ends.

“I love Reefton and I’ve set myself some pretty big goals. Watch this space.”

The power of giving
The power of giving
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050
History preserved at Kershaw’s depot

The town of Kershaw in South Carolina was the dream of Captain James Virgil Welsh – he studied the region’s needs and concluded a town was needed to serve farmers, miners, lumberman, and turpentine operators.

Welsh’s first step in making his vision a reality came in 1887 when a railroad – the Charleston, Cincinnati, and Chicago – was built from Camden in South Carolina to Marion in North Carolina. Welsh contacted the railroad company and convinced company officials a station built halfway between Lancaster and Camden would be profitable and agreed to give them land for the station and town. In 1888, farmers unloaded the first fertilizer from the train in Kershaw.

In January 1926, the depot was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire. The depot was rebuilt in 1926 by Southern Railway and it’s typical of 20th century depots built throughout the Southeast of the United States. Primarily a passenger station, it also transported cotton and textile products from nearby farms and textile or cotton oil mills. On June 3, 1926, the first passenger coaches left the newly built depot for Charlotte in North Carolina. The last passenger train ran in the 1930s.

In 2010, the Haile Gold Mine purchased the train depot, which at the time was being used by a local florist ready to retire.  The depot was scheduled to be torn down and disassembled to sell the interior wood.  Instead, the operation had the vision to renovate the depot, keeping as much of the original structure as possible, only replacing the windows and lighting fixtures.

Today the depot is used by our Haile Gold Mine as a meeting space and it’s open to the public as a Kershaw historical museum. The museum is full of items donated by the town’s residents and items found at the Haile Gold Mine Site.

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Ken: to Macraes and back again

Ken Thomas has worked at our Macraes Operation for 26 years. He started as an operator when the mine first opened in 1990. As a contractor with Doug Hall, he operated a 773 Caterpillar Dump Truck as part of the original open pit mining fleet.

Ken continued to work in the Open Pit department, moving up through supervisor and leading hand roles. He took a break to spend three and a half years at an Egyptian mine before returning to Macraes in 2007.

Today Ken’s a Mobile Equipment Applications Specialist advising on equipment use and best mining practice.

Ken said one of his best memories during his time working at the Macraes Operation was when he first started. “At the start Doug Hall was worried that the trucks were unreliable and wouldn’t last long in a mining environment. We drove them for six months straight with no breakdowns so we we’re able to get a five year contract and really begin the Macraes Operation legacy.”

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Lorrance: a career in the Waihi region

Lorrance started working in exploration in the Waihi region in 1977. From early grass roots exploration to becoming the Exploration and Geology Manager for the Waihi Operation, Lorrance has worked almost his entire career for the operation. Few people know the geology of the region better and Lorrance was involved in the discovery of many gold deposits, including the former Golden Cross mine and more recently our exciting discovery at Wharekirauponga (WKP).

“The exciting thing that’s come out of OceanaGold’s investment is… we’ve booked more resource ounces than has ever been on the books historically during any stage of the life of mine. We’ve also breathed a lot of life into the future,” Lorrance said.

“This place is going to leave a legacy that will outlast my working life… and that’s  pretty satisfying to be involved in something that is normally seen as boom and bust and here we are, virtually working out a whole career in one operation.”

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi

Buller District Council, the Inangahua Community Board, OceanaGold and three Reefton schools joined forces recently to plant trees along the Inangahua River, as part of the Strand Revitalisation Project in Reefton on the South Island of New Zealand.

Reefton Early Learning Centre, Sacred Heart School and Reefton Area School are all Enviroschools. There are over 1,300 Enviroschools around New Zealand, participating in an environmental action-based programme where young people are empowered to design and lead sustainability projects in their schools, neighbourhoods and country. Buller District Council is an Enviroschools regional partner.

OceanaGold’s Reefton Restoration Project donated 150 manuka and 50 beech trees to the Strand Project. The balance of the 400 trees planted were funded from the Buller District Council Community-led Revitalisation funding given to the Strand Revitalisation Project.

Each school was responsible for a different area. Sacred Heart planted on the Rosstown Road side, students from Reefton Early Learning Centre looked after the Lower Strand side and students from Reefton Area School planted the area behind the swimming pool and beside the look-out pier.

Earlier in the month Reefton Restoration Project staff had partnered with students at Sacred Heart School to plant seedlings on the school grounds, while in September they gave a tree seedling to each person who attended the opening of the Golden Globe Theatre at the Reefton Visitor Centre as a reminder of the event.

Reefton Restoration Project Environmental & Restoration Coordinator Steph Hayton said that OceanaGold had planted over 700,000 native seedlings at the mine site, with plans for at least another 200,000 by the end of 2022.

“It’s great to share some of the beautiful native trees we plant onsite with the community through planting initiatives. At the end of the day are all working towards the same goal, a resilient and sustainable environment,” Steph said.

The power of giving
The power of giving
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050
Waihi’s first gold rush

Gold was found in Waihi in 1878. John McCombie and Robert Lee discovered gold on Pukewa, also known as Martha Hill.

Underground mining commenced a year later, and by 1882 the first stamper battery was in operation. In 1894 the Waihi Gold Mining Company adopted the cyanide process for gold extraction, one of the first companies in the world to do so.

The town of Waihi expanded to service the mine. The Waihi School of Mines was established in 1897, and in the same year construction of the Victoria Battery at Waikino commenced.

The Mighty Martha Mine closed in 1952. For 70 years the mine employed a workforce averaging 600 people. During its life the mine extended to a depth of 600 metres and produced 5.6 million ounces of gold and 38.4 million ounces of silver.

We acquired the Waihi Operation in 2015 and have extended the mine life to 2036+.

Find out more about our Waihi Operation at https://oceanagold.com/operation/waihi/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Historic Callery’s Battery

In May 2020 Callery’s Battery at the Macraes Operation was listed as a Category One historical place on the New Zealand Heritage List. The landmark is New Zealand’s best surviving example of a working stamper battery on its original site.

Callery’s Battery is located within Golden Point Historic Reserve at Macraes Operation. Golden Point is one of the largest historic underground gold mines in Otago, in terms of the area worked.

When operating in the early twentieth century, the battery processed both gold and scheelite and is an outstanding example of a small-scale stamp battery in near original working condition.

The battery not only shows how a stamp battery was set up to run, with its stamps, drive train and power source all intact, but it also shows how all of the smaller elements in a battery, such as workshops, electrical plant and the forge, were arranged.

The site is accessible to the public and provides the opportunity to learn about the history of mining technologies and the lives of miners in isolated goldfields.

Find out more about Callery’s Battery on the Heritage New Zealand website at https://bit.ly/36eZVA7

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
From little things big things grow

An investment in human capital is underpinning South Carolina’s 21st century gold rush

An initial 12-month contract at the Haile Gold Mine turned into a 12-year career for Vice President and Country Director, David Thomas, who humbly credits his success and longevity to his team and the local South Carolinians who have continuously supported him.

When you hear David speak about the people he works with, it’s easy to understand how the operation prioritises people and why so many locals have established their careers at the mine.

“Without a doubt, the Haile team is like family,” he says, adding proudly that they are “world-class experts operating a world-class mine.”

The Haile Gold Mine is the largest gold mine on the east coast of America and will reach its 200th anniversary in 2027. OceanaGold purchased the mine in 2015 and commenced modern mining operations in 2017.

“I honestly think it’s the people that have worked with us – generations of families – that have supported the project become a successful operations,” David said.

When he first joined the Haile Gold Mine in 2008, David made an early commitment to the community and immediately commenced a journey of engaging with the mine’s stakeholders. It was important to him that Haile played its part in the continued economic development of the Kershaw region.

“I remember attending a community forum as part of an Environmental Impact Statement permitting process in 2014. Something that Linda White (Community Relations Coordinator) said when she addressed the crowd stuck with me, and they are words I’ve lived by as my career has progressed with the company. “She said: ‘Haile does not talk about the things they do because they are busy doing them.’”

Today, over 80% of the operation’s workforce is local to the region and the company’s policy to prioritise local procurement, means about 20 per cent of its total procurement spend is invested in the local supply chain, and 95 percent is invested within the United States.

In 2011, David was awarded Citizen of the Year by both the Mining Association of South Carolina and the Town of Kershaw. And it’s easy to see why.

“Developing trust is important to me, and to OceanaGold. I’ve always been open with the community and the people I work with. While it takes time and patience to build and maintain those relationships, the effort results in collaboration and cohesion.”

In September 2020, OceanaGold announced extensive future opportunities at Haile, extending the mine life to at least 2033. The company plans to commence development of the Horseshoe Underground in 2021 with first production targeted for late 2022.

“The next phase at Haile is exciting. We’re moving from only open pit mining to underground, which brings with it new opportunities to innovate as we introduce new technologies, systems and processes to operate safely and productively.

“For our people, that means continued learning and career development – and that’s a legacy I’m proud to be associated with.”

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Delivering hope through quality education

It’s more than just a commitment, we want to make a difference to the communities that host our operations.

One of the most powerful ways we can contribute to long-term development is through education. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals call on us all to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

Prior to the development of the Didipio Mine, primary school was only available until grade four. For the remaining years of primary and any secondary education, children walked to neighbouring barangays, some up to 38 kilometers away. We built a fully-equipped secondary school in 2017 and assisted in building a new primary school in Didipio in 2016. We also supported educational programs and provided learning resources in Didipio and 10 adjacent communities.

Through our scholarship program, nearly 400 students have been able to attend university. Many came to work with us after they completed their studies and many more have been able to support their families, build businesses and pursue careers nationally and internationally.

We look forward to contributing to the Philippines’ post-COVID economic recovery and are ready and waiting for that opportunity.

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Closure: a new phase of operations

We look at closure as a transition to a new phase of operations. With it come new opportunities to provide sustainable benefits beyond just employment, rates and taxes.

In 2016 gold production at the Globe Progress Mine near Reefton in the South Island of New Zealand came to an end. The mines had been operating 10 years and produced 610,000 ounces.

Now known as the Reefton Restoration Project, we’re re-establishing vital ecosystems in a post-mining landscape.

A project like this requires innovative techniques and successful long-term solutions. That’s why scientific research and trial work has informed decisions on all aspects of our closure throughout the life of the mine.

This included restoration trials to determine our seedling rehabilitation methods at the beginning of the operation, all the way through to the establishment of passive treatment trials for long term management of onsite water when the mine first went into closure.

Want to keep with what we’re up to at Reefton, follow the project on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OceanaGoldReefton

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
First gold rush at Macraes

Gold was first discovered in the Macraes region in 1862 when prospector, James Crombie, discovered alluvial gold in Deepdell Creek, setting a gold rush in motion.

The first lode (deposit of metalliferous gold ore) that was worked at Macraes Flat was probably the Duke of Edinburgh in 1875. Whereas the Golden Point/Round Hill lode system was not discovered until 1889.

The Golden Point mine was first opened in 1889 and became the property of the Golden Point Mining Company that went into liquidation.

The Donaldson brothers then bought the claim, water rights and battery when the Golden Point Mining Company went into liquidation and ran this operation as a significant and successful scheelite (tungsten) and gold producer. They sold it to a Christchurch syndicate in 1912. The battery worked until about 1930 and was turned into scrap metal in about 1953.

The Macraes Operation continues to have an extraordinary journey of efficiency, innovation, and adaptation. The operation’s success stems from the high level of expertise and innovation of its employees – an integral aspect since its modern beginnings in 1990.

Find out more about the history of Macraes https://oceanagold.com/operation/macraes/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Opening up opportunities

The mineral-rich upland community of Didipio is located across the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino. Established in 1969, it started out as a logging, farming and gold-panning community with only a handful of Indigenous People who originated from Ifugao.

Before the Didipio Mine was developed, Didipio was accessible by foot with only a muddy logging road connecting the community to the nearest town. Residents had to walk for a day to purchase their basic needs at the nearest store and to access the nearest health facility. Students also had to walk for a day to attend school in the nearby village. The  farmers in and around Didipio used to travel up to three days, on sometimes un-passable roads, to get their produce to markets in the towns of Bambang, Bayombong and Solano in Nueva Vizcaya and the town of Cabarroguis in Quirino.

The construction of concrete roads opened up the opportunity for residents to have better access to commercial centres, educational and health facilities and for more farmers to transport their goods easily.

Find out more about our Didipio Mine at https://oceanagold.com/operation/didipo-mine/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Green from gold

After two lives as a productive gold mine, Globe Progress now has a new life – creating green from gold as the Reefton Restoration Project.

Gold was discovered on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the 1860s, with the first discovery at Globe Progress in 1870 making the district the centre of a gold mining boom. The mine closed in 1926 after producing over 400,000 ounces of gold. The era of underground gold mining at Globe Progress was over.

We started open pit mining the modern Globe Progress Mine in 2006, producing over 610,000 ounces of gold before closing in 2016. But this time, the mine site would take on a new life as the Reefton Restoration Project.

Our Globe Progress Mine near Reefton is the first modern large-scale gold mine in the South Island of New Zealand to move into closure and is a leading example of mine rehabilitation and closure.
Find out more https://oceanagold.com/operation/closure/reefton-restoration-project/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Pride of New Zealand’s mining industry

The Cornish Pumphouse is a relic of the original mine in Waihi. Built around 1904, from a design used in the tin mines of Cornwall, England, the structure housed steam engines and pumping machinery. The pumps were needed to cope with the ever increasing quantities of water as the mine workings followed the gold-bearing quartz reefs to a final depth of 600 metres.

Constructed by Hathorn-Davey, the horizontal Cornish pump was the pride of the New Zealand mining industry. The pump had a stroke of 4 metres and continuously dewatered the mine workings at a rate of 7000 litres per minute via No 5 shaft, which was situated adjacent. No 5 shaft had a depth of 399 metres.

The pump was used until 1913 when the Waihi Gold Mining Company completed the first hydro-electric power station on the Waikato River at Horahora (now below the waters of Lake Karapiro).

Today the remains of the pumphouse are protected by the Historic Places Trust and the building is a Waihi landmark and tourist attraction.

Find out more about Waihi’s Cornish Pumphouse https://www.waihigold.co.nz/about/history/the-cornish-pumphouse/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Nearly 200 years of history at Haile

Our Haile Gold Mine is the oldest and longest-operating mine in North America – pre-dating the Californian gold rush by a generation.

Gold was first discovered in the region in 1827 when gold was found in a stream on the property of Benjamin Haile. Mining started two years later and the mine was 60 years old when the neighbouring town of Kershaw was established. Between 1829 – 1993 over 360,000 ounces of gold was produced.

We poured the first gold from the modern Haile Gold Mine in January 2017 with the current life of mine extending out to 2031+.

To learn more about the fascinating story of our Haile Gold Mine, search for The History and Rebirth of the Remarkable Haile Gold Mine, written by Jack H. Morris.

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
A golden future for Haile

OceanaGold acquired Romarco Minerals Inc. in 2015 and continued the development of the Haile Gold Mine. We poured the first gold from the modern Haile Gold Mine in January 2017, and commercial production commenced in October that year.

2019 was a year of expansion with investments to streamline the processing facility and enhancing gold recovery. A new open-pit mining fleet was also approved and mobilized for operation, increasing our fleet size to 25. In 2020, Haile expects to produce between 135,000 and 175,000 ounces of gold.

Recently we announced the updated Haile Technical Report which demonstrate long-term value and significant organic growth opportunity for the operation.

Find out more about the Haile Gold Mine https://oceanagold.com/operation/haile/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Colin: Over 30 years at Waihi

Colin has been working at the Waihi Operation for over thirty years. He started as a sampler in the Martha Open Pit, just a year after it opened. In this role he collected trays of rock after the area had been drilled and blasted. The material was then assayed and identified as gold-bearing ore or waste.

Colin has also worked with Health & Safety and Exploration and now works in the gold room, where he’s been for over 18 years.

Colin said in all the years that he has worked at Waihi, he was really impressed by the open days the operation held to let people see an operating gold mine. “Lots of the community would come to site and many organisations from around the town would benefit from the funds raised. All the money stayed in our town.”

Two events have special memories for Colin. He poured both the two millionth ounce and the three millionth ounce of gold. “With the future looking good, I would like to be part of the four millionth ounce gold pour too.”

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Model modern mine

As our industry continues to evolve, mining methods and technologies are changing the way the mines of the future will be built. In 2019 we announced an exciting initial resource at Wharekirauponga (WKP) Underground Project near Waihi in New Zealand.

The deposit sits beneath Conservation land, so early on we made a commitment to only consider modern underground mining, that enters outside conservation land and tunnels to the gold. We also made a clear commitment that any mining operation at Wharekirauponga would have minimal surface structures that will be removed, and the area completely rehabilitated once mining is completed. Being near Waihi, rock will be transported to our existing infrastructure, including the processing plant, water treatment plant and tailings storage facilities.

We think it’s possible to responsibly mine at Wharekirauponga in a way that safeguards the cultural, social, recreational and environmental values of the region. As part of our ongoing investigations and management, we will investigate and consider opportunities to further enhance the area.

Find out more about our Wharekirauponga Underground Project at https://oceanagold.com/operation/waihi/wharekirauponga-wkp/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
New chapter at Waihi

When we acquired the Waihi Operation from Newmont Mining in 2015, we committed to extending the life of the mine. We were pleased to deliver on that commitment with the commencement of the Martha underground mine development in 2019.

In July 2020 we announced the results of our Waihi District Study, indicating:

  • An initial 2.4 million ounces of contained gold over 15 years from multiple sources of ore feed
  • Extension of the mine life to 2036+
  • Investment in New Zealand around US$1.4 billion
  • Potential for 300 additional jobs.

Find out more about the Waihi District Study and our future in the region at https://oceanagold.com/operation/waihi/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Oliver: from scholarship recipient to award winner

We’re committed to making a positive contribution to communities that host its business activities. This includes the OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) scholarship program – which has grown over time and supported hundreds of scholars at universities across the Philippines.

Oliver Donato is one of the OGPI scholarship recipients. Oliver originally wanted to be a computer engineer, but due to limited financial resources, he had to stop attending school for six years. Things turned around for him when OceanaGold commenced operations and provided scholarships to the community.

As an OceanaGold scholar, Oliver studied Environmental Science at the Nueva Vizcaya State University, graduating to become an Environmental Assistant at the Didipio Mine, where he was focused on minimising raw water use.

As the Didipio Mine’s Environmental Compliance Supervisor, Oliver oversees the mine’s Environment Management System to optimise water management on site. Oliver also oversaw Didipio Mine’s ISO14001 recertification process.

In 2019, Oliver won the Outstanding Pollution Control Officer (TOPCO) of Pollution Control Association of the Philippines Inc. (PCAPI)’s 39th general assembly. He was the first local from the Nueva Vizcaya province to win the award. In his award speech, he explained how he keeps Didipio Mine’s water pollution free with the mine’s water treatment plant.

Find out more about Oliver’s journey with OceanaGold https://oceanagold.com/category/people-and-careers/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Contributor to the Philippines

In 2006 OceanaGold acquired the Didipio Copper-gold Project in the Philippines as part of a merger with Climax Mining and developed the project to become a world class gold-copper operation.

Early construction commenced in 2010 and the project commenced commercial open pit operations in 2013. In 2015 the operation transitioned from open pit to underground and in 2018 they commissioned a paste plant which meant underground workings could be safely backfilled after mining activities were completed.

While restrictions on the operation have meant we’re not operating the Didipio Mine right now, it’s an excellent gold and copper producing asset, with an outstanding workforce and world’s best practice standards. Didipio is an example of how to deliver responsible and profitable mining that genuinely cares about shared benefits for people and the environment in the Philippines.

Find out more about our Didipio Mine https://oceanagold.com/operation/didipo-mine/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Mark’s 30 year journey

Today Mark Cadzow is our Chief Development Officer, but he joined the Macraes operation in 1990 as a metallurgist. Mark’s seen OceanaGold transform beyond one mine to become a resilient and sustainable global company motivated by mining the OceanaGold way.

Find out more about the OceanaGold Way: https://oceanagold.com/sustainability/responsible-mining/the-oceanagold-way/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
A publicly listed company

OceanaGold Ltd was established in 2003 and is listed under “OGC” on the Australian and Toronto Stock Exchanges.

Our journey began in 1990 on the South Island of New Zealand when gold production first commenced at Macraes. Thirty years later, our footprint has expanded to the North Island of New Zealand at the Waihi Gold Mine; to the Philippines at Didipio Mine; and in South Carolina on America’s east coast at Haile Gold Mine.

Throughout our history we have proudly advanced the body of knowledge in our field and delivered award-winning initiatives driven by a commitment to social, economic, operational, and environmental sustainability.

Find out more https://oceanagold.com/about-us/our-history/

 

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Modern Globe Progress on the West Coast

Macraes Mining Company Ltd. acquired the Reefton Goldfield in the South Island of New Zealand from CRA in 1991.
The modern Globe Progress Mine seven kilometres southeast of Reefton on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island opened in 2006, with ore processing underway in 2007.

In the open pit, rock was drilled and blasted to retrieve gold-bearing ore. Trucks then hauled the gold-bearing ore to the processing plant. The mining fleet moved over one million tonnes of rock each month. At the plant the ore was crushed and mixed with water to form a slurry.

The addition of chemicals and further treatment produced a gold-bearing concentrate. This concentrate was railed over 600 kilometres through the Southern Alps to Palmerston. From here it was trucked to OceanaGold’s Macraes Operation for final processing. Bars of gold from the new Globe Progress were 93-94% pure gold.

During each year of its operation the mine produced around 70-80,000 ounces of gold. Just over 610,000 ounces of gold was mined from the open pit operation mine between 2007 and 2016.

Now known as the Reefton Restoration Project, the site is a leading-practice mine closure and rehabilitation project. Central to the project is the re-establishment of vital ecosystems in the new post-mining landscape.

Find out more about the history of the Globe Progress Mine, and its transition to become a world class closure project https://oceanagold.com/operation/closure/reefton-restoration-project/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
First gold at Macraes

Macraes Mining Company Ltd commenced commercial gold production in the South Island of New Zealand in November 1990. At the time they had a mine life of only seven years. 30 years later, we’ve extended the mine life out to 2028, and we hope to be there for another 30 years.

The region had hosted mining since the 1860s, but this was the start of an exciting journey for our company that would lead to the creation of OceanaGold and growth into other parts of New Zealand, the Philippines and into the United States of America.

These photos were taken at our first gold pour in November 1990 and from the pour of our five millionth ounce of gold in July 2019.

Find out more https://oceanagold.com/operation/macraes/

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi
Introducing our journey to 30

On Wednesday 11 November 2020, OceanaGold will celebrate 30 years of people and performance.

For 30 years, we have been contributing to excellence in our industry by delivering innovative solutions, sustainable environmental and social outcomes and strong returns.

This is a milestone that celebrates not only where OceanaGold started, but the history and legacy of each of the operations that make up OceanaGold today:

  • Macraes and Waihi Operations in New Zealand
  • Didipio Mine in the Philippines
  • Haile Gold Mine in the United States
  • Former Globe Progress Mine, now known as the Reefton Restoration Project, in New Zealand.

2020 has been a year unlike any other. While we’re celebrating this anniversary amidst challenging times, our drive, expertise and experience navigating market cycles will guide us well.

Through all the challenges we have a strong and sustainable future ahead of us. Our organic growth pipeline represents decades of opportunities for our company and is one of the best in the industry.

Over 30 days in the lead up to the anniversary we will share daily videos, photos and stories that highlight the people and milestones that have made OceanaGold a great place to work and a strong and resilient company.

Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
A golden future full of opportunity for Haile
The best is yet to come at Waihi
The best is yet to come at Waihi

Investing in the long game at Reefton

Environmental and Restoration Technician Megan Williams is a woman on a mission.

She’s part of OceanaGold’s team at the Reefton Restoration Project – the site of the former Globe Progress Mine – collecting and reporting on thousands of water samples and huge amounts of monitoring data, day after day, year after year, to give back the rehabilitated land on completion of the Project.

“There’s no second chances when you’re closing a mine – you have to get it right. We owe it to the environment and to the community to restore this beautiful landscape to the best of our ability,” Megan said.

“I love working with people and a company that share these values and beliefs.”

And that’s what has kept Megan going since starting at OceanaGold in 2017. That, and the fact she is growing her skills every day by learning from experts in Reefton’s environmental team.

“Some parts of my job, such as surveying, would normally be outsourced to contractors, but at OceanaGold there’s a real desire to upskill in-house and build our capacity and knowledge for the broader industry.

“Being in the early part of my career, that’s an enormous opportunity for me.”

Megan refers to her role as the ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground at Reefton. She spends most of her time in the field keeping track of progress, sampling, completing monitoring tasks and providing data to the team and consultants.

Living locally and working on site over the past three years, there’s not one square inch of the Project’s 260-hectares she isn’t familiar with.

Her role involves tagging and measuring trees as part of the Project’s rehabilitation and replanting program. Given OceanaGold plans to plant approximately 1 million native species across the site, that is no mean feat.

In addition to replanting, reshaping is underway to ensure the natural environment is restored and visually integrated into the surrounding landscape.

Megan says: “The team on site has been working with consultants to design the Project’s proposed passive water treatment system, which was chosen through a research project that I was heavily involved in. We have also been busy developing an engineered treatment wetland system at Fossickers Lake (the former Tailings Storage Facility).”

“We have developed a low maintenance, passive system which treats onsite water using gravel as a filter and gravity flows – not chemicals – before being discharged into the river system.

“This has involved a significant investment by the company during trials and developing techniques for long-term solutions.

“That’s testament to OceanaGold’s commitment to restoration and closure. It’s so refreshing to work for an organisation that puts an enormous amount of trust into its operations’ experts.”

Apart from her day-to-day environmental role, Megan and the team directly engage with stakeholders by hosting events such as planting days with local schools, and site tours that provide an opportunity for the community to see first-hand the progress being made.

“Reefton is a small and closely-connected community. So many locals have either worked on the mine or have had relatives that did. Mining is a big part of the culture and history here.

“It’s part of my job to educate and inform the community about what the closure process involves, and it’s important to take them on the journey. When I take them on site tours, people are often so pleasantly surprised to see what the former mine looks like now.

“For example, Fossicker’s Lake attracts native bird life…you can see we’ve got a new ecosystem establishing and it’s incredibly rewarding to be a part of it.

“One day, when people come to the site, I hope they will be able to appreciate the rehabilitation work and enjoy the area as much as I do.

“More than anything, I hope people will look at Reefton and say it was a world-class example of mine closure. And that mining and the environment can co-exist when there’s investment in people and technologies to get it right from the outset.”

Finding gold
Finding gold
From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow
Getting it Right
Getting it Right

In late 2019 the Waitaki District Council moved to register the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark under the UNSECO geopark program.

The geopark registration is focused around geology, education and culture and brings those three aspects together to celebrate the uniqueness of the Waitaki geological region.

The proposed geopark will encompass the entire Waitaki District, including the fossils of Vanished World and the OceanaGold Macraes Operation. The Macraes Mine sits in the southern section of the proposed Geopark and offers a fantastic opportunity for educating the community (and tourists) on geology and how mining can be conducted in a responsible manner.

To oversee the development of the geopark and undertake the bid for the UNESCO registration, a WWG Trust was established in August 2018 with the Macraes Operation as a founding partner.

The Macraes Operation is a fantastic example of the geology of the district, hence why the mine has the potential to become a focus for the geopark, and to support significant development at a regional scale. Gerard Quinn, Regional Development Manager at Waitaki District Council has said, “We recognise that a sustainable economy will still need extraction of resources from the earth. Aside for the direct use of these natural resources, if land is used in a sustainable manner it will also provide benefits in the terms of employment and other economic and social opportunities. This is why the Trust is very happy to have OceanaGold as a founding partner.”

This opportunity aligns with the environment and community values OceanaGold is focused on achieving and represents the mine’s intention to support the local and wider community into the future.

The WWG will increase tourism in the region and provide an opportunity to increase geological education in the community.

The power of giving
The power of giving
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050

Richard Ozga
Commercial Manager | Melbourne, Australia

“Our culture and organisational values are what attracted me to OceanaGold and they keep me driven, accountable and motivated to support the organisation in achieving its strategic objectives. We are pragmatic and agile and take our obligations as a responsible mining company incredibly seriously.”

Born on the Zambian copper belt and relocating to Poland as a child, Richard Ozga immigrated to Australia in the late 1980s where he and his family settled in Kambalda, in the heart of the Western Australian goldfields.

With a mining engineer father, whose job saw the family relocating about 17 times before finally settling in Melbourne, Australia, Richard was perhaps destined for a career in the resources sector.

“This might seem like an unsettled childhood, but growing up in Kambalda was fantastic for a kid – riding bikes through the bush, playing footy and cricket on the dust bowl and hanging out with friends – I have very fond memories of the sense of community that it provided,” Richard said.

Richard draws parallels between the tight-knit, small-town culture and OceanaGold, where he commenced in 2014 as a Financial Superintendent at the Globe Progress Mine (now the Reefton Restoration Project).

“No matter which site I’ve worked at or travelled to over the past seven years, and whether the interactions between people have been across the boardroom or the crib room, I’ve seen the same values instilled in all of our people.

“And it’s not lip service. Our whole management system and the decisions made at every level are framed around our company values. It is a genuine way of behaving, interacting and moderating which empowers people across the organisation.”

“It allows our organisation to be pragmatic and agile, while having a really strong foundation. It’s really refreshing.”

Richard says it’s also why OceanaGold attracts a global talent pool that rivals other, larger mining companies.

“Take for instance our Environment and Community Manager at Macraes, Gavin Lee, who might consider himself, at least in part, an environmental ‘activist’.

“Of course, stereotypically, the mining sector might not seem like a natural fit for Gavin, yet he is an incredibly engaged employee who is passionate about mining the right way and we – as a company and across the sector – have greatly benefited from his expertise on our responsible mining operations. We are better because of people like him.”

Finding gold
Finding gold
From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow
Getting it Right
Getting it Right

This article was originally published in Inside Resources in September 2020: MINERALS SECTOR AWARDS FINALIST: OceanaGold Waihi

Waihi Miners’ reflective area

The history of Waihi miners who tunnelled under enemy lines in France during WWI is recorded in a Miners’ Reflective Area in Waihi township.

Following the dedication in 2016 of a Tunnelling Company Memorial project, one of the largest events to occur in Waihi, the Miners’ Reflective Area was finally completed in 2019.

“This project is an example of how a community and a mining company can work constructively together to achieve something of lasting value,” OceanaGold’s senior communications advisor Kit Wilson says.

Miners’ Reflective Area takes shape

The community initiative started with a local heritage group approaching the Ministry of Culture and Heritage in 2013, and subsequently receiving $100,000 in funding to design and construct the Tunnelling Company Memorial, as part of the WWI centennial commemorations.

The Miners’ Reflective Area was designed as a multi-use public space of quiet reflection which would recognise miners past and present, and the contribution of these men, their families, and the industry to Waihi and New Zealand.

“Through the provision of practical in-kind assistance and support, and financial help, OceanaGold and the mine’s previous owners have put all of these values into action,” Wilson says.

“The object of this project was to bring their story back to life, to remind modern-day Waihi and New Zealand of these historical links, and to strengthen international Tunnelling Company links.”

The area chosen is part of Gilmour Reserve, a natural gathering place, which Wilson describes as “almost a village green”.

The land joins up Gilmour Lake to the Union Hill Walkway and beyond to the Pit Rim Walkway, all of which were Waihi Gold projects.

“This initiative would link these features as a valuable walking track and significant historical trail.”

Community support for Waihi operations

Encouraging the strong community support for OceanaGold’s Waihi operations is the company’s own strong support for the local community, with it taking the time to listen to the community’s aspirations and assist with community initiatives.

The collective energy put into creating the Miners’ Reflective Area has led to several additional co-operative projects, Wilson says.

They include the Waihi Lions Club/Waihi Heritage Vision Poppy Fence, the Waihi Heritage Vision Peace Wings Project, and the Waihi Heritage Vision Cross of Crosses.

“None of these initiatives would have been possible without close co-operation between mine staff and community members,” Wilson says.

Oral histories of miners’ descendants live on

Also inspiring the project is its contribution to the mining history of Waihi and the link between the local community and other countries sharing the New Zealand Tunnelling Company’s history – France, the UK, Australia, the Cook Islands and Norfolk Island.

OceanaGold Waihi provided financial assistance for a Heritage Group researcher and a videographer to record Tunnelling Company oral histories.

Wilson says “the oral histories were of particular importance as there was only a small number of Tunnellers’ children still alive.

“These descendants’ interviews were incorporated into the wider Waihi Gold Oral History Project, which ultimately saw over 60 local people interviewed on all aspects of early mining life in and around Waihi.”

Following the death of underground miner Tipiwai Stainton at Waihi, four new plaques were added to the Miners’ Reflective Area in honour and recognition of the four men who have died at the mine since 1952.

“The result is unique and is something that will continue to be a very special amenity for Waihi locals, visitors and mining families for many years to come,” Wilson says.

OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A space for reflection in Waihi
A space for reflection in Waihi

This article was originally published in Mining Journal in September 2020: OceanaGold, leading social performance in gold mining

With mining companies facing increasing regulatory requirements, growing distrust from communities and scrutiny from investors around the way environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts are managed, it is crucial for the industry to understand what good social performance is and how to implement it.

OceanaGold is open about its commitment to responsible mining, managing impacts, and contributing to communities and society more broadly.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in November this year, the company applies robust ESG practices across the business, with its performance recognised by the major ESG rating agencies, ranking in the top five globally in the gold industry.

In 2019, the World Gold Council launched the Responsible Gold Mining Principles – a set of 10 principles that establish clear expectations about what constitutes responsible gold mining across key environmental, social and governance issues in the gold mining sector.

As members of the World Gold Council, and with a seat on the Board, OceanaGold is among some of the world’s most forward-thinking gold mining companies, with a focus on the future for the industry.

Sharon Flynn, OceanaGold’s Executive Vice President & Head of External Affairs and Social Performance, said, “our multinational portfolio contributes to economic growth, employment and skills development. Our approach to sustainability is to build a positive legacy, delivering value throughout and beyond the life of our mines.”

“These societal outcomes are inextricably linked to the way we manage our operations and invest in sustainable, industry-leading practices at OceanaGold,” Ms Flynn said.

The importance of partnerships

Demands for more transparency and engagement are not going away.

“Mining companies must respond by acknowledging the concerns of stakeholders, being transparent in their operations, and by engaging with humility and openness with communities,” Ms Flynn said.

“It is vital to forge innovative and sustainable partnerships with local suppliers, governments, community groups, industry leaders, education providers, technology partners and NGOs.”

Social performance management

OceanaGold has an External Affairs and Social Performance (EA&SP) Management System. The system provides a framework to understand and manage how the company’s activities affect the communities it operates in and societal expectations for how it should operate.

“To do this, companies require the right set of skills, expertise and an organised professional approach based on sound methodologies,” Ms Flynn said.

“The EA&SP Management System helps us identify how we impact the communities and societies where we operate, how we can work to align our operational performance with local aspirations, values and culture, and how we should behave as a company and as employees.”

The EA&SP system in action

A social change assessment conducted at OceanaGold’s Didipio Mine in 2019 collected data to inform the mine’s future community focused operational decision-making. The project was key to better understanding the past, current and future impacts of the operation and to enhance OceanaGold’s social performance.

The assessment, which involved 14 barangays (villages) around the operation, identified and analysed the social changes that have occurred since mine development began in 1992 and how the changes are perceived by local stakeholders.

The assessment collected qualitative data through case studies, focus groups and in-depth interviews with members of the community. The work also involved a remote sensing project that collected geo-spatial data to look at changes in the mining footprint and, subsequently, the surrounding landscapes. This included artisanal mining, access roads and forestry across the Didipio Mine’s lifecycle.

“The assessment gave us a strong dataset to better understand how the Didipio mine has changed peoples’ lives – the positive and the negative. From here, we can work to identify key areas for improvement to better align how we work with local aspirations and expectations,” Ms Flynn said.

Looking ahead

Social performance can and must be continuously improved. As a mid-tier mining company, OceanaGold has strong systems and processes in place which area testament to the company’s governance and commitment to responsible gold mining.

“The gold, silver and copper we produce are essential to economic development and societal wellbeing—from renewable energy to life-saving medical devices and technologies that connect communities around the world. But there is no mine or mining project without social impacts,” Ms Flynn said.

“Good social performance means recognising social complexity across geographic, cultural and social landscapes and understanding how the business of mining changes the way people live and work.”

The power of giving
The power of giving
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
The birds and bees and the flowers and the trees
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050
OceanaGold commits to net zero emissions by 2050

This article was originally published in Coast and Country News in August 2020: Farming and the mine

Mining and farming don’t seem like a likely pair – one relies on what’s on the land, and the other extracts from beneath it. But OceanaGold Waihi is proving the two can work in harmony.

The company own three blocks of farmland around their Waihi processing plant totalling 220ha, which is leased to and managed by three neighbouring farmers.

“We’re proud of the way we’ve managed to make the mine, farms and storage ponds function together, which we’ve been doing, and improving, since going underground in 2004,” says OceanaGold site project manager Kevin Storer. “With the help of our neighbouring farmers, we have beautiful land surrounding us.”

Cows and explosions

The farms’ daily operations are unaffected by what happens below, says Kevin. Being beneath a town of 4527 people, OceanaGold Waihi is used to mining in a way that creates minimal effects above ground.

This is achieved by carefully calculated placement of explosive charges, which detonate a microsecond apart and break the rock with minimal vibration on the surface.

Usually, the most impact felt above ground can be compared to a truck passing a house, so farming can continue as normal.

At the end of the 2017 season, OceanaGold signed an agreement with three neighbouring farmers, making them the managers of one OceanaGold block each – an extension to their own farms.

Prior to this, OceanaGold leased the land, and was responsible for the maintenance. “Our neighbours are great farmers. The land is always incredibly well kept,” says Kevin.

“Maintaining it ourselves worked okay but farming isn’t our profession, so we’re really happy with the decision.”

In total, the three farms graze 830 cows on OceanaGold’s blocks – mostly dairy, with 60 drystock.

About 48ha of OceanaGold’s south block is constructed from extracted rock from their open pit operation. The mounds are called Tailings Storage Facilities, or TSFs.

“The mine construction material isn’t harmful in any way, it’s just normal rock out of the ground. You can’t tell the difference between the land on south block and the adjoining farmland,” says Kevin.

Both TSF mounds have been rehabilitated with topsoil, sown with grass seed and converted into farmland, with a significant area dedicated to riparian planting. “Within three months of sowing everything’s green, and by the next season it’s being farmed.

“The South block is quite steep, so the farmer running it tends to only graze young heifers up there.”

Clean water

The mine has one operational TSF pond that stores tailings and excess water from the mining process, and rainfall. Water is sent from the pond to an onsite treatment plant, before being discharged into the Ohinemuri River.

The mine’s second TSF, named TSF2, was decommissioned in 2006. “The water in TSF2 is high enough quality to run directly into the waterways with no processing required.”

The active tailings pond is regularly tested. “Anomalies rarely happen, and if they do it’s usually just a matter of adjusting the PH levels – no different to what you’d do on a normal farm.

“People’s perception is that the pond is full of toxic material. There are trace elements of different minerals in there, but these are removed at the treatment plant.”

The water treatment plant’s polishing pond – the final stage before the water is discharged into the river – is clean enough to swim in. And people do. OceanaGold host a winter swimming event, called the Walrus Swim, every year. Fittingly, the winners receive a Walrus trophy. “It’s not just clean water for a mine – it’s considered clean by national standards,” says Kevin.

Bringing in the birds

The area around the two TSFs has attracted breeding pairs of endangered New Zealand Dotterels. It’s believed to be the only inland Dotterel breeding site in the North Island. “There are plenty of ducks and swans too, even on the active tailings pond. If you go there during duck season, it’s covered in them.”

As well as water testing, OceanaGold’s health, safety and environment team do regular sampling on all sites, and independent tests are carried out. All data is reported to Waikato Regional Council.

“We get annual soil test reports from the farmers and run our own extensive sample and testing regime,” says Kevin. “We manage trends through our database to ensure we’re not negatively affecting our surrounding environment.”

In the early days, OceanaGold worked with Massey University to complete yearly soil testing. “The university helped ensure the converted farmland was to standard, which created an opportunity for students to engage in the process.”

If OceanaGold’s proposed Project Quattro is approved, constructing another TSF will be permitted. Once mined, OceanaGold will stick to the same process, using leftover rock to construct farmland. “Leaving behind usable land, when the mining is over, is part of our duty of care.”

OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A space for reflection in Waihi
A space for reflection in Waihi

This article was originally published in Business South magazine in August 2020: Reefton restoration Leading the way

Multinational gold producer OceanaGold, with global operating, development and exploration experience, is serious about sustainability.

And company spokesman Kit Wilson says OceanaGold’s commitment to achieving sustainable outcomes does not end when their mining operations cease.

“For us the closure of a mine site is simply a transition to a new phase of operations, and a new Opportunity to achieve additional important sustainability targets.”

He says the former Globe Progress Mine at Reefton is a leading example of OceanaGold’s

Commitment to achieving sustainable outcomes after mining operations cease.

OceanaGold operated the Globe Progress Mine for about 10 years, and on average, moved approximately 23 million tonnes of material each year.

As a result of more than 610,000 ounces being extracted from the site, the depth of the main pit was 275m below the highest ground surface. However, in 2016, the mine transitioned from an operational phase to closure and rehabilitation and has since come to be known as the Reefton Restoration Project.

“The Reefton Restoration Project is largely focused on achieving environmentally sustainable outcomes. Central to the project is the re-establishment of vital ecosystems in the new post-mining landscape.”

In order to achieve this, OceanaGold has already undertaken a large-scale reforestation programme, covering 118ha. So far 700,000 seedlings have been planted, and a further 200,000 seedlings will be planted over the next 3 years.

The reforested areas predominately include species native to New Zealand, such as Beech and Manuka varieties, to provide homes for local wildlife species and enhance biodiversity outcomes.

In addition to planting, the progressive rehabilitation pf the former mine site also includes waste rock reshaping, backfilling operations, spreading of topsoil, and pest management, to ensure that the environment is visually integrated into the surrounding landscape.

Kit Wilson says the Reefton Restoration Project also includes  social sustainability targets to benefit the local community.

“A major target of the project was to support local community projects and since the rehabilitation phase began the company has provided $150,000 in funding for a local socio-economic development office, and $50,000 funding for local community projects.”

OceanaGold has also provided reinvigoration funding $50,000 to the local I-Site visitors centre to encourage tourism for the area.

The restoration project also aimed to offer employment opportunities for local community members, and several positions have been filled by local people, while the local and regional economy has also been bolstered through the procurement of goods and services.

Steph Hayton, the Environmental and Restoration Coordinator at OceanaGold, says working on the project has been a hugely rewarding experience.

“Working on a project like this has required an adaptive management style where research and trial work informs decisions on all aspects of closure,” says Steph.

“This includes restoration trials determining rehabilitation methods at the beginning of the operation, all the way through to the establishment of passive treatment trials for long term management of onsite water when the first went into closure.”

Steph says the approach has meant innovative techniques creating some great long-term solutions.

“While some aspects of closure have been easier than others the work towards closure has been extremely satisfying, with rehabilitated areas of the site now hosting many native bird species including the nationally vulnerable South Island Kaka.”

Babbage Consultants Limited, a New Zealand based multi-disciplinary consultancy, has been providing support to OceanaGold on the project.

Among several services provided to OceanaGold, Babbage has conducted ongoing water quality monitoring and guidance on wetlands for a lake side margin and also a treatment wetland to enhance downstream water quality While OceanaGold has already made many

Significant environmental and social gains in the rehabilitation phase, the Reefton Restoration Project is not due to be completed for a few more years.

However, the project is already showing signs that it represents a new gold standard for mine rehabilitation.

In the coming two years, the project team will continue their environmental work, and the reinstatement of adjacent historic tracks.

Upon completion, OceanaGold will hand back the land to the New Zealand Department of Conservation in accordance with its council consent.

OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A space for reflection in Waihi
A space for reflection in Waihi

The drill and blast team at our Haile Gold Mine’s recently added remote technology to its repertoire of world-class, tech-forward blast hole drilling techniques.

Haile is the first gold mine in the United States to use Epiroc’s BenchREMOTE technology for remote control drilling with two of their three Epiroc drills. This technology provides many advantages for Haile’s workforce – no strangers to working in sometimes harsh South Carolina environmental conditions of extreme heat, wind, and rain.

The BenchREMOTE system enables operators to work from a safe distance in a comfortable environment, handling up to three rigs in parallel. This advanced technology allows the operator station to be placed up to 100 meters away and +/- 30 meters in elevation with a line of sight to communicate with the drills. Haile purchased two Epiroc D65 drills, BD7 and BD8, in 2019 that are compatible with this new technology.

The BenchREMOTE package includes the operator station only, so installation design is determined at the operator’s discretion allowing for a customizable end-product. Haile Drill and Blast General Supervisor, Aaron Kash, worked with ATC Trailers to design Haile’s housing, building the remote station into a fully insulated enclosed trailer.

“When we bought the equipment from Epiroc, I reached out to our local ATC trailer dealer and had them bring up the specs of a similar trailer,” Kash said.

“We made a few changes – making it a little longer, equipping it with a bigger A/C unit to withstand the heat, and upgraded the generator,” he said.

Safety is a primary concern any time people are present on a drill pattern with remotely operated drills. Communication, situational awareness, preparation, and warning systems are necessary for maintaining safe operation.

Perhaps the most significant benefit of the remote drills is the potential for increased productivity. Now one driller can operate up to three machines at a time, increasing utilization.

Another safety benefit is that the remote drill can access areas that may be unsuitable for people to access.

“With the development of the new Haile Pit, we are encountering historic workings. We may want to drill into an area with little cover to see what’s there, but we don’t want to risk putting somebody physically in the drill,” Kash explained.

OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A space for reflection in Waihi
A space for reflection in Waihi

This article was originally published in the Asia Miner: OceanaGold’s Reefton Restoration Project  

The former Globe Progress Mine, located in New Zealand’s South Island, is a leading example of achieving sustainable outcomes.

By Reefton Restoration Project, OceanaGold, and Ashley Bartlett , Babbage Consultants

Multinational gold producer OceanaGold is serious about sustainability. However, unlike many other mining companies, OceanaGold’s commitment to achieving sustainable outcomes does not end when their mining operations cease. Rather, for OceanaGold, the closure of a mine site is simply a transition to a new phase of operations, and a new opportunity to achieve additional important sustainability targets.

The former Globe Progress Mine, located in New Zealand’s South Island, is a leading example of OceanaGold’s commitment to achieving sustainable outcomes after mining operations cease.

OceanaGold operated the Globe Progress Mine for about 10 years, and on average, moved approximately 23 million tonnes of material each year. As a result of more than 610,000 ounces of gold being extracted from the site, the depth of the main pit was 275 m below the highest ground surface. However, in 2016, the mine transitioned from an operational phase to closure and a rehabilitation phase and has since come to be known as the Reefton Restoration Project.

Environmentally Sustainable Outcomes

The Reefton Restoration Project is largely focused on achieving environmentally sustainable outcomes. Central to the project is the re-establishment of vital ecosystems in the new post-mining landscape.

In order to achieve this, OceanaGold has already undertaken a large-scale reforestation programme, covering 118 hectares. To date, approximately 700,000 seedlings have been planted, and a further 200,000 seedlings will be planted over the next three years.

The reforested areas predominately include species native to New Zealand, such as Beech and Manuka varieties, to provide homes for local wildlife species and enhance biodiversity outcomes.

In addition to planting, the progressive rehabilitation also includes waste rock reshaping, backfilling operations, spreading of topsoil, and pest management, to ensure that the environment is visually integrated into the surrounding landscape.

Furthermore, the Reefton Restoration Project includes impressive social sustainability targets to benefit the local community. A major target of the project was to support local community projects and since the rehabilitation phase began, OceanaGold has provided funding for a local socio-economic development officer (NZ$150,000), and further funding for local community projects (NZ$50,000). They have also provided reinvigoration funding (NZ$50,000) to the local I-SITE visitors centre to encourage tourism for the area.

The restoration project also aimed to offer employment opportunities for local community members, and several positions have been filled by local people, while the local and regional economy has also been bolstered through the procurement of goods and services.

Rewarding Experience

Steph Hayton, the Environmental and Restoration Coordinator at OceanaGold, said that working on the project has been a hugely rewarding experience.

She stated that working on a project like this has required an adaptive management style whereby research and trial work informs decisions on all aspects of closure. This includes restoration trials determining rehabilitation methods at the beginning of the operation, all the way through to the establishment of passive treatment trials for long-term management of onsite water when the first went into closure. This approach has meant innovative techniques creating some great long-term solutions.

While some aspects of closure have been easier than others the work towards closure has been extremely satisfying, with rehabilitated areas of the site now hosting many native bird species including the nationally vulnerable South Island Kaka.

Babbage Consultants Limited has been providing support to OceanaGold on the project.

Amongst several services provided to OceanaGold, Babbage has conducted ongoing water quality monitoring and guidance on wetlands for a lake side margin and also a treatment wetland to enhance downstream water quality outcomes.

Dr Grant Allen, a senior environmental scientist at Babbage, says that working together with the team at OceanaGold has been very rewarding. Reflecting on the project, Grant said that it is great to see companies, such as OceanaGold taking its responsibility for the environment seriously and then proceeding to go above and beyond to demonstrate that mine sites can be properly rehabilitated.

Looking ahead, he said that it would be fantastic to see more mine operators following in OceanaGold’s footsteps, taking up the challenge of rehabilitating their former mine sites to allow the environment to recover and prosper.

While OceanaGold has already made many significant environmental and social gains in the rehabilitation phase, the Reefton Restoration Project is not due to be completed for a few more years.

However, the project is already showing signs that it represents a new gold standard for mine rehabilitation. In the coming two years, the project team will continue their environmental work, and the reinstatement of adjacent historic tracks. Upon completion, OceanaGold will hand back the land to the New Zealand Department of Conservation in accordance with their council consent.

OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A space for reflection in Waihi
A space for reflection in Waihi

This article was originally published in the Mining Journal: Waihi District, a Golden Opportunity in New Zealand

OceanaGold is expanding gold mining in New Zealand’s North Island following an exploration campaign, which has identified significant additional ore deposits in the area.

The Waihi District Study is a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) indicating strong value creating potential from several projects.  The base case scenario extends the mine life at Waihi to at least 2036, from multiple sources of ore feed, with a potential initial resource of 2.4 million ounces of contained gold.

The 12-month study looked at the Waihi District’s resource potential holistically. The study establishes the future production potential of the resources in the region, development requirements for each project, and the associated key milestones including mine production, processing and gold production.

The Waihi District in the North Island of New Zealand includes the town of Waihi and surrounding areas. The mining projects in the PEA include Martha Underground, Wharekirauponga (WKP) Underground, Martha Open Pit Cutback and Gladstone Open Pit.

Michael Holmes, President and CEO of OceanaGold said, “We are very pleased to share the positive results of the Waihi District Study that represents the initial value creating potential of the district opportunities.”

“The results of the study give us confidence to move forward with these opportunities. We see potential for further significant growth through resource additions particularly at Martha Underground and WKP deposits. Further resource expansion also has the potential for sustained high levels of annual gold production and mine life extension,” Mr Holmes added.

The modern Martha Mine and underground operations have been operating at Waihi for over 30 years. OceanaGold will enlarge the current Martha open pit, mine a second smaller pit on the outskirts of town near the company’s process plant, develop a new tailings storage facility, and construct a rock stack next to the existing tailings storage areas.

Economic benefits

The Waihi District Study shows significant socio-economic benefits for the regional community and for New Zealand, which can play a critical role in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery, including 300 new jobs in addition to the existing 900-person countrywide workforce.

“When OceanaGold purchased the Waihi Operation in 2015, the mine had a life of less than three years. We made a commitment then to extend the life of the mine and develop the economic benefits it brings to Waihi and the broader district. We are a high value export intensive industry that supports a wide range of businesses and jobs,” Mr Holmes said.

“With the potential to extend the mine life out to 2036, we would invest an estimated US$1.4 billion in the area. This is in addition to the significant benefits already delivered in New Zealand over the last 32 years of operation at Waihi.”

Mining in New Zealand

New Zealand has a long, rich history of mining dating back to the 1800s. Over the past 30 years, OceanaGold has successfully operated to the highest environmental and social standards and delivered significant socio-economic benefits to regional communities in both the North and South Islands.

Waihi, in particular, grew around the mining operations since the discovery of gold in the area over 150 years ago. Today, the town’s motto is “the heart of gold mining in New Zealand”.

The critical path for success is permitting and while the New Zealand permitting process is prescriptive, OceanaGold is very familiar with it.

“There are no short-cuts, permitting in New Zealand requires extensive engagement and transparency. We have successfully permitted dozens of projects in the country over the last 30 years, including most recently the Martha Underground Project which was permitted six months ahead of schedule in 2019. We have a strong reputation as a responsible miner and have solid relationships with the local community and other stakeholders,” Mr Holmes said.

Responsible mining

OceanaGold’s approach to sustainability is to build a positive legacy, delivering value throughout and beyond the life of its mines.

The land under which the Wharekirauponga (WKP) deposit sits is culturally and environmentally significant. It is also an important recreational area for walkers and campers and home to the critically endangered native Archey’s Frog.

That’s why any potential mining operation at Wharekirauponga would be underground and with minimal surface disturbance to protect the conservation values of the region.

“We believe we can mine the resource sensitively and respectfully using proven underground methods. Although we have tested enough rock to be confident that the gold discovered at the site could support a mine, we still need to undertake significant, detailed studies before we apply for resource consents,” Mr Holmes said.

This is not the first potential mine on conservation land for the company. OceanaGold successfully operated Reefton, an open pit mine in Department of Conservation land for nine years. Since ceasing operations the company has been conducting leading practice closure and rehabilitation at the site.

“We strongly support responsible mining, protecting conservation land and working with technical experts to understand and protect the biodiversity of the areas we operate in. We’re proud of our engagement and partnerships with local communities and the support we receive for our operations and future development,” Mr Holmes said.

Organic growth

OceanaGold has one of the best organic growth pipelines in the global gold sector, currently investing in a number of growth opportunities.

The majority of OceanaGold’s exploration activities are in New Zealand, particularly at Waihi where the resource has significantly increased since the asset was acquired in 2015.

“We have a high-quality management team and high-quality assets – which is a recipe for success, combined with one of the best organic growth pipelines in the gold sector. Over the next several years, we expect to build four underground mines in low-risk jurisdictions where we have extensive operating experience,” Mr Holmes said.

OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
OceanaGold marks three decades of gold standard mining
Celebrating 30
Celebrating 30
A space for reflection in Waihi
A space for reflection in Waihi
OceanaGold