The Macraes Operation launched a self-guided tour of modern and historic mining landmarks, as part of the Waitaki Geopark Festival.

The Waitaki Whitestone UNESCO Global Geopark was designated in May this year as New Zealand’s first and Australasia’s only UNESCO Global Geopark. The designation marks the region’s significance as ‘a single, unified geographical area where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development’.

To celebrate the designation, the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust have partnered with over 35 local businesses and community organisations to put together three days of events and activities spanning the Waitaki District, between Friday 27 October and Sunday 29 October 2023.

Macraes Operation general Manager, Mike Fischer, said the operation was proud to be a founding partner of the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust and to support the festival and the Waitaki District, which had so much to offer.

“The Macraes Operation is a fantastic example of the geology of the district and supports significant development at a regional scale,” Mike said.

“It is a pleasure to launch this self-guided tour and share more information about historic and modern mining in the region, including how safe and responsible mining contributes to the park’s holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development,” he said.

“While it is not possible for the public to be on an operating mine site, the team here at Macraes set up the next best thing, by making parts of our activities visible to the public.”

“From tomorrow, you will be able to start your tour at The Hub and get up close and personal with one of New Zealand’s largest excavators. You will also get a spectacular view into the Frasers Open Pit, which offers an opportunity to see large mining equipment in action.”

“Once you have been to the Hub, hop in your car and use the tour map to guide you to the other locations The stops on the tour include The Hub, the Deepdell Viewing Area, a historic gravel pumping display, a historic stamper battery and Macraes Village. Interpretive panels at each location will provide information about the unique features of the area.”

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

Gemma McDonald, Group Manager – Commercial, Global Finance Team

In October 2022, Gemma McDonald joined OceanaGold as Group Manager – Commercial for the Asia-Pacific region. With over 15 years’ experience in senior procurement and commercial roles in the mining industry, Gemma is enjoying a role that is both hands on and strategic, and a culture where people really care – about each other and performance.

Just 12 months after joining OceanaGold, Gemma McDonald is already making a valuable impact, whether it’s establishing initiatives that propel others to succeed, balancing resources to achieve optimum results or crafting a role that is equally strategic and hands-on.

Attributing her positive journey to the global company’s relatively small size and strong culture, and being surrounded by inspiring senior leaders that care about their people, Gemma is excited to grow her future with the company.

“What’s unique about OceanaGold is its personable approach.” Gemma said.

“The energy of let’s get this done together is a core element of our culture. For a small team, this breeds success,” she said.

“Joining OceanaGold has felt like being welcomed into a family. Many of my colleagues are long-standing employees and everyone wants to share their experience and history of the company.”

Day to day Gemma works across OceanaGold’s Asia Pacific operations – the Waihi and Macraes operations in New Zealand and Didipio Mine in the Philippines – supporting  operational teams to deliver commercial outcomes that align with business objectives.

“Coming into what was a newly established role has been liberating and challenging,” she said.

“I support capital expenditure application reviews and approvals through to anything budgeting, forecasting and analysis related from a financial, operational and commercial delivery perspective. I love that I’ve been able to shape my role to balance tactical and strategic outputs.”

Gemma says OceanaGold employees benefit from a greater level of visibility across centralised and operational roles. For Gemma this has resulted in valuable exposure to leaders within the business.

“Since late 2022, I’ve had the opportunity to be an Executive Committee Coordinator as part of a 12-month internal rotating development program. Through this I’ve been fortunate to witness first-hand how decisions are made at the executive and senior levels of the business.”

An intrinsic passion for customer service forms the basis of Gemma’s approach in bringing together teams to achieve success.

“I love helping the operations to deliver and achieve positive results. Success in growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it’s a team effort. There are a lot of people at OceanaGold that genuinely believe this mantra and that’s what makes us different,” Gemma said.

Reflecting on the past 12 months, Gemma has enjoyed traveling to different sites, crafting positive working relationships with operational teams and embracing cultural nuances. Introducing coaching opportunities within site commercial teams has been a key initiative.

“Exploring cultural differences between operations in New Zealand and the Philippines has taught me to have more appreciation around resourcefulness and investigate new ways to achieve optimum outcomes.”

When it comes to growing a future at OceanaGold, Gemma is most excited about the opportunity to be part of a small team that continues to achieve positive global results.

“In an organisation the size of OceanaGold, with its global footprint and complex multi-disciplinary assets, it’s motivating to be a part of the company’s growth,” she said.

“You can look at a result or figure and identify exactly how you personally contributed to achieving that outcome. This isn’t always possible at larger organisations and for me that’s a special part of OceanaGold.”

Come grow with us at OceanaGold. To find out more visit https://oceanagold.com/

Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home

Meet Emily, our Mine Manager at the Haile Gold Mine in the USA and the Company’s first female Mine Manager.

In this video Emily shares her experiences in the mining industry, working at Haile and how much she enjoys being part of the local community.

Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home

The World Gold Council has released a new documentary: GOLD: A Journey with Idris Elba, which explores the mysteries, stories and untold human relationship with the earth’s most precious metal – gold.

OceanaGold President and CEO Gerard Bond said he was proud the Company had been approached to be involved as an example of a leading mine closure at their Reefton Restoration Project (former Globe Progress Mine) in the South Island of New Zealand.

“To have our work in New Zealand recognised internationally as a leading example of restoration and mine closure is testament to both the culture and practice of OceanaGold and the tremendous work done by the team at the former mine site,” Mr Bond said.

“Our Purpose – mining gold for a better future – helps define our strategic and day-to-day thinking. This not only helps us to create a better future for all our stakeholders – our people, the communities that host us, our business partners and shareholders – but also makes good business sense,” he said.

“Our Company touches people’s lives and we take our responsibility to them and the environment seriously.”

“At Reefton, we are leaving behind a safe, stable and sustainable site. We show how a former mine site can be returned to nature.”

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

Meet some of the team at our Waihi Operation and find out what makes their community of Waihi so special. 

Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home

Mining has once again been identified as New Zealand’s most productive industry in terms of GDP (gross domestic product) per filled job.

Based on data from economic consulting and forecasting company, Infometrics, the Mining industry in New Zealand delivered over $490,000 of GDP per filled job in the year to March 2023. Currently there are just over 2,000 full time mining jobs in New Zealand.

Regionally, the mining industry was the single largest contributor to GDP, as it has been for 17 of the last 22 years, in the Hauraki District, where OceanaGold operates the Waihi Operation with 350 employees.

In the Hauraki District, at a value of $640,000 of GDP per filled job in the year to March 2023, mining was almost double that of the second highest productive industry.

As the largest mining operation in the area, OceanaGold takes its health, safety, environmental, social and community obligations seriously and has enormous pride in its investment in people and performance.

New Zealand General Manager Corporate and Legal Affairs, Alison Paul, said with over 30 years of operating in New Zealand, OceanaGold takes a long-term view.

“We believe in applying responsible mining practices to our operations as well as having meaningful relationships with the communities in which we operate,” Alison said.

“For example, last year the Company committed to reduce carbon emissions per ounce of gold produced by 30% by 2030 in support of their goal of net zero operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” she said.

The productivity data shows mining has been the most productive industry in New Zealand since 2008, with the Waihi Operation contributing over $127 million dollars in total expenditure (excluding payroll) to the New Zealand economy in 2022 alone.

Opportunities for employees in mining are rewarding as well, with the average salary at the Waihi Operation above $100,000 per annum, well above the national average.

“This economic contribution to New Zealand is the product of years of investment, robust processes, strong relationships with our external stakeholders and most importantly the attitude and dedication of our highly experienced people. We could not be prouder,” Alison said.

OceanaGold directly employs approximately 1,000 people across its Waihi and Macraes Operations in New Zealand.














*Infometrics data for the Hauraki District, available at https://ecoprofile.infometrics.co.nz/hauraki%2bdistrict/Productivity/IndustryProductivity

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

Jackie St John, New Zealand Legal Manager

Nearing her eighth year at OceanaGold, Jackie St John is reflecting on her time with the Company, and the changes to the political landscape and across the mining industry.

Newly promoted to the role of New Zealand Manager – Legal, Jackie says the collective, global brains trust across OceanaGold’s corporate and operational teams has inspired her to become a better and more strategic leader through some dynamic times for the sector.

“Environmental and local government law and policy changes have been tricky to navigate – but it’s certainly kept things interesting,” Jackie said.

“The policy direction on mining regulation in New Zealand is evolving and more than ever, we are future-focused, so it’s an exciting space to be in.”

This is Jackie’s second promotion since she joined OceanaGold.

“It’s a strategic role and there’s a stronger opportunity to influence and guide decision making. It’s forward looking and it’s both pleasing and challenging to provide advice that best places the business into the future.”

Jackie says the culture and camaraderie at OceanaGold is awesome, and despite the operational diversity at each of the Company’s mines, the global teams are united in vision, values and success ingredients that bond them together.

“At OceanaGold, we are given opportunities to think like a business owner and when you are trusted to make decisions and provide strategic input, there’s a real sense of ownership and belonging,” she said.

“Benefits of my new role include a long-term incentive plan including company shares, which is pretty cool and something I’ve never been offered to date in my career.”

Outside her day job, Jackie has volunteered with the Rotary Club of Dunedin for nearly 20 years, and for 10 of those, she has also supported disaster relief charity ShelterBox, which helps displaced communities after natural disasters.

She said OceanaGold allows her the time and space to contribute to these community service interests.

“The skills I have gained from these voluntary organisations directly impacts and benefits the Company and vice versa.

“For me, that’s the true meaning of work-life balance – it’s not just about the flexibility of working from home, it’s about complementing your career and life interests for shared beneficial outcomes.”

Outside of family, climate change and community are two important things to Jackie.

“Aligning my personal values to my work gives me purpose.

“There is a common misconception that miners are polluters not protectors, which is incredibly disappointing. We know there are benefits from mining that otherwise wouldn’t occur – ecological, economic and community to name a few.

“Responsible mining is not just a phrase – it’s embedded into law, and at OceanaGold, our systems, processes and culture too.

“Government departments often aren’t resourced to do what we do in this space – we employ experts, we are focused on climate change and we are legislated and values-driven to close mines in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Contributing to the Company’s Responsible Mining ethic through my role matters to me.”

Come grow with us at OceanaGold. To find out more visit https://oceanagold.com/

Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home

With a mine life to 2037 and long-term economic investment committed to the region, OceanaGold is refreshing its approach to sustainable community development at Waihi, located in the North Island of New Zealand. But first, the Operation’s External Affairs and Social Performance Superintendent, Kyle Welten, and his team needed to take a step back and think about the region’s future. What does Waihi look like post mining? And until that time comes, how can the local community benefit from the Company’s presence?

Hard questions are being asked right now by the sustainability team at OceanaGold’s Waihi Operation. For a town that’s known gold since it was first discovered in the 1800s and depends on its continued success, the community is looking to the Company to deliver a meaningful contribution and help secure its future.

“In simple terms, we have a responsibility to set Waihi up for success – both now and into the future when our children and children’s children will be living their lives here,” Kyle said.

Over the last 12 months, the team has developed a ‘Life of Mine Sustainability Strategy Framework’, which outlines how the Company will align its operational performance with local aspirations, values and culture.

The Framework takes a shared value approach and outlines how OceanaGold will endeavour to be a trusted partner by contributing to the wellbeing of Waihi through partnerships that deliver sustainable outcomes for the life of mine and beyond.

“As a responsible miner, we are committed to leaving a positive legacy and actively contributing to the sustainable development of the local community post mining,” Kyle said.

“Our Contribution to sustainable development refers to the strategies and actions we will take towards the sustainable economic and social development of Waihi – steps that we can take now and that continue to make positive impacts well beyond the end of our involvement.

“Unlike impact management, sustainable development is outcome-based and uses natural resources to meet the needs of all people, without compromising future generations and the environment.

“The community rightly has an expectation that as a mining operation, we will manage our effects, for example water management or the health and safety of our workforce. Those things are non-negotiable and are stringently managed by us and reported to our regulators.

“However, there’s also an expectation of the community that’s not as vocal, prominent or actively thought about. And that is: what do we leave behind?

“We know the community most definitely expects to have a say in that – and to be our partner to deliver a prosperous future for the town – and that’s why we will be taking this Framework to the community and getting their thoughts and ideas.”

If consented, the Project has the potential to produce over 1.6 million ounces of gold and over 2.2 million ounces of silver over a 13-year period, complementing the already consented Martha Underground, and extending the life of the mine at Waihi to 2037.

“As part of the project, we are committed to working collaboratively with our local communities to create opportunities, build resilience, and leave a positive, long-lasting legacy – well beyond the mining life cycle,” Kyle said.

“My one-year-old daughter will go to school here – I want this to be a place she can grow up and thrive in her education and life. So, it’s comforting that people at OceanaGold genuinely care about operating in a way that sees benefits flow to the next generation.

“The Sustainability Team have spent the last couple of years talking, and thinking about, how we can better contribute to Waihi. I’m looking forward to putting this thinking in to practice and starting to actively discuss those potential contributions with our community.”

For more information about the Waihi Operation visit https://www.waihigold.co.nz/

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

OceanaGold’s Macraes Operation in the South Island of New Zealand is an open pit and underground gold mine located in Central Otago. Gold was first discovered in 1862 and there are still reminders of the early gold mining days in the area if you know where to look. OceanaGold is partnering with the local community and historians to preserve some of these sites.

Just down the road from the Macraes gold mine is the small settlement of Macraes Flat. During the gold rush in the 1860s, it was a busy mining town with around 25 businesses and a population of 500 people. Miners used shovels, pans, cradles, sluice boxes, sluicing and stamping batteries for both alluvial and hard rock mining.

Today, little remains from those times, but one building that has stood the test of time is Stanley’s Hotel.

The stone single-story Stanley’s Hotel was built in 1880s for owner Thomas Stanley. Thomas was the son of a sea captain who took over a ramshackle wooden building in the settlement and engaged a stonemason from Hyde, called Budge, to ‘build me an inn that will last”.

The schist stone for the building was quarried from a hill behind the local Catholic Church and transported by horse and cart to the site. Legend has it the entrance hall was laid with marble destined for St Joseph’s Cathedral in Dunedin that was waylaid along the way.

The stonemason, Budge, was well known for his craftsmanship, but also his great love of beer. It took him five years to complete the Stanley’s Hotel building and during this time he was paid in beer. It has been reported he consumed “72 hogsheads in all”, equivalent to over 51,000 cans today.

Stanley’s was renowned for the quality of its food and hospitality in an age when wayside food and lodging were of great importance in isolated communities. The hotel remained in the Stanley family until 1960.

Today Stanley’s Hotel is the centrepiece of the small settlement of Macraes Flat The building is owned by OceanaGold and leased to hoteliers who welcome patrons daily. The company has spent over $300,000 in earthquake strengthening and refurbishing of the hotel and its outbuildings, which include a billiards room, a stone shed, stables and pig pen.

Another reminder of the early days of gold mining – Callery’s Battery – requires visitors to cross an active mine haul road where large mine trucks cart ore to the company’s Process Plant. When the road is clear a guard signals that it safe to cross, and members of the public can drive their cars to the Golden Point Historic Reserve carpark then proceed on foot to the battery.

Callery’s Battery is New Zealand’s best surviving example of an authentic working stamper battery on its original site. Built in 1902 to serve the Golden Point gold mine, the five-stamper plant operated until the 1950s and processed both gold and scheelite. Hundreds of stamper batteries used to operate across New Zealand, but almost all were sold for scrap in the middle of last century.

In May 2020 Callery’s Battery was listed as a Category One Historical Place on the New Zealand Heritage List. The battery is now protected and looked after by the New Zealand Department of Conservation as an outstanding example of a small-scale stamp battery in original working condition. It shows how a stamp battery was set up to run, with its stamps, drive train and power source all intact and how all the smaller elements in a battery, such as workshops, electrical plant and the forge were arranged.

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

The near twenty-year partnership between OceanaGold’s Macraes Operation and Fish & Game New Zealand produces as many fish as we produce gold, with up to 8,000 trout reared per year. 

Perched on the edge of the Lone Pine Reservoir stands the Macraes Flat Trout hatchery, one of only two of its kind in New Zealand. Here, between 5,000 and 8,000 rainbow trout are reared annually to be released in ‘put-and-take’ fisheries around Otago for local licensed anglers to catch. The unique setup, located on the edge of the footprint of the active mine site, is jointly operated by the OceanaGold Macraes Operation and Fish & Game Otago.  

Like many innovation projects born out of the Macraes Operation, the partnership started out as just an idea. At the time, conservation organisation Fish & Game New Zealand were closing the Bullock Creek hatchery in Wanaka around 221km away from the mine site. Avid fisherman and Processing Operator Greg Caldwell saw an opportunity to bring the hatchery to Macraes and suggested the Lone Pine Reservoir would make for a great new home, utilising the water pumped from the Taieri River to benefit the community before it joined the processing cycle to produce gold.  

Together, with in-kind help from several local contractors, Fish & Game Otago and the OceanaGold Macraes Operation built the hatchery in 2004. This saw Fish & Game responsible for providing the hatchery equipment, stocking the hatchery and releasing the fish, while OceanaGold provided the building and water and managed care of day-to-day operations, including monitoring the water temperature and flow from the Control Room of the Processing Plant.  

The secret to the hatchery’s success is the natural cyclical replenishment of the trout. Fertilised eggs are incubated before hatching into fry and maturing to a size where they can be released. Fertile rainbow trout habitually return to the water race adjacent to the hatchery from the nearby Lone Pine Reservoir when the water reaches a tropical 8 degrees Celsius. Here Fish & Game collect the eggs and sperm from the fish before they are released back into the reservoir and the cycle begins again.  

Since its commissioning the hatchery has continued to populate dams and reservoirs across Otago with rainbow trout. These waters are chosen as they have no natural spawning or recruitment areas but are important angling destinations, so they rely on the hatchery for fish.  

The OceanaGold Macraes Operation General Manager Mike Fischer said the benefits of the hatchery are realised for both the wider and local community, making the partnership even better.  

“We keep some of the trout to populate the Macraes Lone Pine Reservoir as well, so this allows us to host community events like Take a Kid Fishing days where local kids have a chance to catch fish from the reservoir with their family,” Mr Fischer said.  

From an initial capital expenditure of NZ$60,000 nearly 20-years ago, the hatchery partnership with Fish & Game continues to demonstrate how we create shared value with our stakeholders to benefit our communities.  

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

At OceanaGold, I genuinely believe that we are helping to create a better future for everyone associated with our business – our communities, people, suppliers, partners and shareholders. This intrinsic focus on a better future provides our business with an important purpose and has helped defined much of our strategic thinking for 2023 and beyond.

Today, I am proud to share our new Company Vision, Values, and Success Ingredients – together with our Purpose, known collectively as The OceanaGold Way – that will drive our business forward.

In developing the renewed Vision and Values and introducing Success Ingredients – or behaviours – I engaged widely and opened up the discussion to representatives across our workforce. What emerged from these discussions were insightful foundations for success, an incredibly valuable learning opportunity for me and a great illustration of the benefit of one of the Values, being Teamwork. The final product I share with you now reflects and represents the collective perspectives of our people – and I am proud to be part of the OceanaGold team who will bring The OceanaGold Way to life over the coming years.

Our Purpose is mining gold for a better future.

Our Vision is to be a company people trust, want to work and partner with, supply and invest in, to create value.

Our Values are Care, Respect, Integrity, Performance and Teamwork.

I wanted to share my thoughts on these Values, which are the most fundamental element of The OceanaGold Way:

Care | we care for the safety, health and well-being of our people, the environment and local communities

I believe care is the most important of our Values. If we genuinely care about the safety and wellbeing of people, the communities in which we operate and the environment, then every decision we make and action we take becomes easier. Any perceived success in other aspects of our business will be overshadowed if we do not exhibit this value of Care.

Respect | we respect and listen to each other, embracing different views and diversity in all its forms

This is about listening and embracing diversity, embracing new ways of thinking and learning from our colleagues and partners across the world. Respect is the basis of creating trust and the platform to identify and realise opportunities.

Integrity | we do the right thing and take accountability to deliver on our commitments

At the most basic level, integrity is about doing the right thing and what we promise to do, taking accountability for our commitments, even when no one is watching.

Performance | we strive for excellence through learning, continuous improvement and innovating

We are operationally disciplined, striving for excellence and viewing every experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Excellence is very much about the journey as well as the destination. We improve through our focus on learning and innovation.

Teamwork | we achieve great outcomes by everyone contributing and working together 

We achieve better outcomes when everyone contributes and works together. There are few roles that can thrive alone, and we encourage collaboration, coaching and celebrating our achievements.

The Vision and Values are supported by the following ‘Success Ingredients’, which are six behaviours we will apply every day to ensure we realise our Vision and be a great place to work.

We will succeed when we:

  • are open and trusting, communicating and sharing knowledge
  • are inspired and aligned by shared goals
  • think like business owners to safely and responsibly maximise production, reduce cost and increase returns
  • speak up, contribute and take action
  • are operationally disciplined and do the basic things well
  • motivate, coach and celebrate people’s contributions and achievement.

Our growth plans for 2023 and beyond are ambitious. With the strong foundations in place in this new OceanaGold Way, the Company is in a good position to realise its full potential.

I look forward to our next chapter of growth together and us all giving life to the new Vision, Values and Success Ingredients every day.

Gerard Bond
President and CEO

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

The story of gold mining at Macraes has a rich history back to 1862 when gold fever struck Deepdell Creek in New Zealand’s South Island. The discovery of alluvial gold by local prospector James Crombie sparked a series of gold rushes which quickly led to the population of Macraes swelling to 600 in the 1870s.

The OceanaGold chapter in the mine’s story began in 1990. Thirty-two years later, the company’s operations have expanded to the North Island’s Waihi, the Philippines, and South Carolina in the US.

Macraes is New Zealand’s largest active gold mine, both on the surface and underground. Since OceanaGold’s involvement, the mine has produced more than five million ounces of gold, employed more than 3,000 people and contributed a vital $8.5 billion to the New Zealand economy.

Macraes General Manager Mike Fischer says OceanaGold is a modern miner planning for the future.

“We are proudly ingrained in the Otago region’s past and present,’’ Mr Fischer says. “But there are challenges ahead and we are preparing for them.

“We are actively working towards our target of a 30% reduction in Carbon emissions by 2030, and net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in line with New Zealand Government targets.’’

Macraes’ electricity is now generated from 100 per cent renewable sources and the operation is actively working towards decarbonising its fleet as a key part of the OceanaGold strategy to net zero.
“We have a clear action plan to help reach our 2030 goal,’’ Mr Fischer says.

“The company has developed an emissions reduction strategy to provide a pathway to maintain focus and build capability in emissions management across the organisation – with a focus on three of these areas, decarbonisation of mobile equipment, increased use of renewable energy, and energy use/energy efficiency improvements.”

OceanaGold has partnered with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) in a technology demonstration partnership. Macraes Operation will commission an electric hydraulic excavator in early 2023 and will be the first operation in New Zealand to own and operate one of these machines. The benefits of the ‘electric shovel’ include operational cost reduction and a reduction in carbon emissions.

The mine is also investigating renewable energy as a potential post-mining land use. The company is in the advanced stages of preparing a feasibility study for a solar farm to supply electricity to the operation during daylight hours.

“We are also working with our diverse communities as extractive operations expand, and we continue to attract, train and retain a skilled specialist workforce in a competitive global market,” Mr Fischer says.

“We are committed to the future. A future that will continue to provide jobs, ongoing partnerships, local regional and national investment, technological innovation, and environmental sustainability.

“We are currently mining both on the surface and underground. In 2023, open pit ore will continue to be sourced from Deepdell, and waste stripping will commence in earnest at Innes Mills. We expect to have the first stope ore from Golden Point Underground in early 2023 and this will be fully ramped up to replace Frasers Underground by late 2023.”

Watch the video here:

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

The Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand is 328 metres tall. Tourists take the lift to the observation deck or the revolving restaurant for uninterrupted views of the city and the Hauraki Gulf.

Or, you could climb the 1,103 steps and 51 flights of stairs to the top of the tower with 25 kilogrammes of kit on your back and breathing recycled air through a BG4 closed-circuit breathing set with a mask covering your face.

That is just what members of Waihi Operation’s Mines Rescue Team and the Macraes Emergency Response Team did in August, joining more than 900 firefighters from around the country to raise over NZ$1.3 million for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.

The event is held each year, with team members raising money from sponsors and fundraising activities before the event.

This year the Mines Rescue Team from Waihi took first place for teams of six to nine firefighters, raising just over NZ$35,000 in sponsorship. The team from Macraes gained second place in the 10-plus team members category, having raised NZ$30,001 making OceanaGold employees one of the biggest contributors to the event. This result is reflection of the huge amount of their time over the past months to raise money and train for the event on top of their own jobs, lives and other volunteering commitments.

The fastest climbers can complete the event in around ten minutes. Shay Perkinson from the Waihi team says it’s not about the time.

“To be in Mines Rescue you have to be fit, and while we will always challenge each other to do our best, for us it’s not about being fastest, it’s about getting the team to the top, and raising money for a really worthwhile cause,” Shay said.

“Everybody knows somebody, or knows somebody who knows somebody, who has cancer. This is our chance to give back.”

Jed Moriarty, one of the fastest climbers, agrees. He says the team is “standing on the shoulders of the community”.

“We can train and do the climb on the day, but we succeed because the community gets behind us,” Jed said.

“We have a small group of major sponsors who are always incredibly generous, but a lot of the funds raised come in small amounts from our communities in Waihi and at Macraes. We really couldn’t do this without them behind us.”

OceanaGold’s Waihi Operation Acting General Manager Justin Johns attended his first Sky Tower Challenge this year.

“I’m impressed by the teamwork and commitment for the cause; it’s an amazing fundraising event helping others. We should all be very proud of what the Waihi team and our teammates from the South Island have achieved,” Justin said.

General Manager at the Macraes Operation, Mike Fischer says the event is very physically demanding.

“These results showcase to all of us the strength and resilience our rescue teams require to respond to emergencies both on site and in the wider community,” Mike said.

Both managers praised the commitment and generosity of sponsors and supporters.



Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home

A new approach to the Didipio Mine’s community development programs is being implemented this year, which aims to expand the mine’s reach beyond the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino, ensuring the benefits of having a global miner in the region are felt by more communities.

Two new funds aimed at building community capacity and resilience have been added to the Didipio Mine’s substantial community program in line with new terms and conditions agreed to as part of the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) renewal.

The Community Development Fund and the Provincial Development Fund are resourced through an additional 1.5 per cent of the mine’s gross mining revenue to deliver programs that meet the needs of the region and its people. The CDF was launched in July, 2022 in collaboration with the mine’s regulator, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

Didipio Mine’s External Affairs and Social Performance Manager Marjorie Idio said the team was excited about the opportunity to be a catalyst for significant positive social change in the region.

“In funding programs outside the host and neighbouring communities, our strategy is to connect multiple agencies and expand our social footprint to communities in the greater Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino area,” Ms Idio said.

“While we have been deeply involved with our two host provinces over many years through the delivery of our Social Development Management Plan, the Community Development Fund allow us to share the benefits of the Didipio Mine outside our immediate community.

“We hope similar companies can replicate the program in the future, further expanding the social impact and building more resilience across the region.”

The Funds will be administered through a grant program. Project proposals developed by local organisations will need to align with the mine’s seven pillars of benefit-sharing:

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Enterprise Development
  3. Socio-cultural or IP Program
  4. Capacity Building
  5. Disaster Response/Management and Environment
  6. Health
  7. Education.

New projects focusing on the infrastructure needs of the region will commence in Q4, 2022.

Each project will receive up to ₱3 Million to provide farm-to-market networks and connections to evacuation centres. However, there will be a strong focus on building capabilities of project proponents to craft complete project proposals – not just one-off construction projects – a skill they can use for future improvement initiatives.

Project Sponsor, Joan Adaci-Cattiling, said the goal of the Community Development Fund was to set up the basis for a self-reliant and resilient community.

“The greatest contribution we can make is the legacy we will leave behind. It’s all about purposeful giving,” Ms Adaci-Cattiling said.

About the Funds

The Community Development Fund is delivered in collaboration and partnership with relevant local government units, community groups, organisations, Indigenous peoples, or Indigenous cultural communities to determine its plan and implementation. Importantly, there is a huge emphasis on widespread participation among multiple community stakeholders to deliver programs that have broad benefits and purpose, and to build effective partnerships to foster learning and continuous improvement.

The Provincial Development Fund prioritises improvements that are meaningful, substantial, and lasting. To achieve this, the Didipio Mine team consults the provincial local government units of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino to ensure the projects and activities funded by the PDF align with their respective provincial development plans and meet the community’s needs.

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

On Friday 19 August, OceanaGold welcomed the news that the United States Army Corp of Engineers (“ACOE”) had published the Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Haile Gold Mine located in Kershaw, South Carolina. What will the expanded operations look like, and what does it mean for the local community?

The publishing of the SEIS has been heralded as an important step in the future of OceanaGold’s Haile Gold Mine.

Now in a 30-day public comment period, the SEIS will undergo a 15-day review period before the final Record of Decision (ROD) is scheduled to be issued.

The ROD and related permits are required to commence development of the Haile underground mine and to expand the operating footprint to allow for additional potentially-acid-generating waste containment facilities, overburden facilities and expanded tailings storage facility.

The proposed expansion includes:

• Development of the Horseshoe Underground (HUG)
• Optimising mill operations to increase capacity from 9,100 tonnes per day to 14,400 tonnes per day
• Expanding the permitted boundary from 4,552 to 5,384 acres
• Increasing Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) capacity from 40 million tonnes to 72 million tonnes
• Increasing Potentially Acid Generating (PAG) storage from 100.1 million tonnes to 150.1 million tonnes
• Increasing overburden storage areas (OSA) from 147.5 million tonnes to approximately 207 million tonnes
• Expanding the average capacity of the Water Treatment Plant (WTP) from 1,200 gallons per minute to 2,400 gallons per minute.

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Americas, David Londono, said publication of the SEIS was a significant milestone for the Company and the community that hosts the Haile Gold Mine.

“Development of the SEIS commenced in 2018 and contained information about the geology, water resources, soils, wetlands, socioeconomics, public health and safety, cultural resources, and other impacts as it relates to proposed expansion,” Mr Londono said.

“We are thrilled to now be moving to the next stage in the permitting process to secure the future of the mine by moving our operations underground and extending its life to 2034.”

Mr Londono said pending approvals, the expanded mine would deliver many local benefits that extended across the supply chain and included direct employment with the mine.

“To deliver the expansion and associated infrastructure, we expect to employ approximately 200 additional people, and we hope the majority of those jobs can be created for people living in Kershaw and the broader Lancaster County.

“It’s been a long time coming, but the SEIS is well considered, and we anticipate it moving forward as it has been published.“Soon we will see the long-term benefits of having a global miner in our region – and that’s something we should be excited about.”

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

When OceanaGold began operating the Globe Progress Mine in Forest Park near Reefton in 2007, it was done so with the condition that the company would rehabilitate the area, re-establishing the ecosystem with native plants, after mining was completed.

At the forefront of this work is Megan Williams, the Environmental Advisor who supports the restoration project to ensure it is on track.

“The ultimate goal is to leave a site that we have restored as best as we can with the most up to date technology”, says Williams. “I want the work here to reflect that we didn’t take any shortcuts and that OceanaGold takes the environmental side of gold mining seriously”.

To date more than 800,000 trees have been planted on the site comprising silver beach, mountain beach, red beach and Manuka.

The establishment of a clean and functioning wetland has been a highlight of the project to date, as not only flora and fauna have thrived but so too have native wildlife.

“The wetland plants have done better than we originally thought and in a shorter time frame”, explains Williams. “It’s been amazing to see the return of native species to make this their home”.

The project is shaping significant progress and earlier this year public consultation began on how best for the area to be used moving forward where it will be returned to public ownership through the Department of Conservation.

“Long after OceanaGold leaves the site I believe people will be surprised to think that a gold mine was ever here” states Williams.


Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

An electric hydraulic shovel – the first of its kind for New Zealand – will be commissioned at OceanaGold’s Macraes Operation in early 2023. The company estimates that from its use alone, the expected annual carbon emissions reductions would be around 3,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per year.

Increasing renewably-generated power, offsetting and electrifying the mining fleet is part of OceanaGold’s plan to increase efficiency and reduce emissions across its operations, as the company works towards an interim 2030 climate change target – to reduce carbon emissions per ounce of gold produced by 30 per cent by 2030.

Recognising the journey will not be linear to reach its broader goal of net zero emissions by 2050, the company is implementing targeted, incremental change and the purchase of an electric shovel at the Macraes Operation is one of many initiatives the company is delivering in the transformation towards less emissions intensive gold production.

Pieter Doelman, Open Pit Mine Manager at the Macraes Operation, said the electric shovel was a significant and worthy investment.

“The Macraes Operation is updating one of its large mining excavators and rather than replacing it with another diesel operated machine, we’re making the switch to an electric powered machine,” Pieter said.

“The value of this investment is most certainly in achieving lower energy and carbon costs at the Macraes Operation, however maintaining the electric motor is also more cost efficient than a diesel motor, so we expect to see long-term savings,” he said.

Supporting the project is the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). EECA works with industry to increase the use of clean and clever energy across New Zealand, and they recently partnered with the Macraes Operation to provide partial funding for the new machine as part of its technology demonstration fund.

Nicki Sutherland, EECA’s Group Manager of Investment and Engagement, said the introduction of an electric hydraulic shovel in New Zealand was a first that could, if successful, be replicated.

“The project is expected to deliver large carbon abatement and energy savings,” Nicki said.

“It will also mean the introduction of a new technology not previously used in mining in New Zealand – and holds potential not only for other sites but also other sectors,” she said.

Greg Scanlan, Acting EVP for Sustainability and Social Performance, said critical, innovative thinking was being applied across all OceanaGold’s operations to identify opportunities at a local level to reduce emissions.

“Technology and innovation are key to decarbonisation and as a responsible miner, we continuously improve and innovate the way we explore, extract and process minerals,” Greg said.

“Clear actions are required to reach decarbonisation and rapid advances in technology and innovation, including electrification, are central to the mining industry’s commitment to reducing its environmental footprint,” he said.

“Phasing out diesel use and taking advantage of New Zealand’s high renewable energy supply in the national grid (with over 80% generated from renewable sources), is a key part of our strategy and pathway to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and we fully support the New Zealand Government in their drive to achieve this common goal.”

“As the first miner in New Zealand to use an electric hydraulic shovel, we are looking forward to seeing its benefits across productivity, cost reduction, reliability and the measurable reduction of carbon emissions at Macraes.”

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

Originally published in the Valley Profile in August 2022: https://www.valleyprofile.co.nz/2022/08/02/rescue-team-set-for-fierce-sky-tower-climb/

Members of the Waihi Gold Mines Rescue Team will ascend the southern hemisphere’s tallest building in a few weeks for a flaming good cause.

The annual Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge on August 20 will see New Zealand firefighters race to the top of the 328m Auckland Sky Tower carrying 25kg of gear, while also raising funds and awareness for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC).

LBC said eight children and adults in New Zealand are diagnosed each day with blood cancer, and the charity is dedicated to supporting patients and their families for months or even years.

It will be the sixth year the Waihī rescue team has taken part in the challenge, with up to nine members taking part.

Jamie Bird, who is about to compete in his fourth Sky Tower challenge, told The Profile raising money for a good cause ignited his involvement.

“[Leukaemia and blood cancer] affects a lot of people and the money goes towards supporting the families, but it’s also a very physical thing to do for the team and a bit of competition within the team of who can get the fastest time,” he said.

Jamie said rescue team members, who were trained and certified in incident responses, including fires, usually took between 10 and 20 minutes to conquer the Sky Tower’s 51 flights of stairs.

“We start in the basement and then we do four flights up until you’re on ground level and then you do a lap outside and then you carry on up to the top of the Sky Tower,” he said.

“The challenge is to keep moving really – when you get halfway up it’s difficult to keep pushing and pushing and just go as long as you can.”

Jamie said the rescue team wore firefighting suits for the challenge and a 25kg closed circuit breathing apparatus, which the team uses in underground rescue missions.

“The closed circuit is different to the open circuit because we breathe in our own air and it gets circulated around and filtered,” he said.

“Then we can rebreathe our own air rather than have a fresh supply like the other firefighters do with the BA gear.

“I get quite a bit of [training] with work but there’s quite a few people who’ll also go on hikes, runs or walks with weighted vests.”

As of last week, Jamie said the rescue team was New Zealand’s second highest fundraising team with more than $23,000 raised through online donations, sponsors and raffles for LBC.

This includes around $5000 raised by a raffle held at Waihi Rugby Club.

The rescue team, which raised more than $41,000 in 2021, will continue fundraising up until challenge day.

To help Waihi Gold Mines Rescue Team in their fundraising efforts, visit https://firefighterschallenge.org.nz/t/waihigoldminesrescue

Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home

Originally published in Inside Resources in July 2022: https://www.insideresources.co.nz/news/wildlife/123581/ogc-extends-bat-partnership-doc?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=inside-resources-newsletter

OceanaGold has signed a five-year partnership with the Department of Conservation (DoC) to expand on work funded with DoC as part of an original compensation agreement to continue predator control at Maruia on the West Coast to protect endemic long-tailed bats.

“That project has been so long-standing we have basically covered several generations of bats,” says Alison Paul, the company’s general manager for corporate and legal affairs.

OceanaGold’s five-year partnership will enable the department to expand work to protect long-tailed bats under Te Maruia Waka Huia – ‘the Maruia Treasure Box’ programme.

This integrated species programme has been designed to enhance biodiversity values at key sites within the Maruia Valley. At current state, the programme provides predator suppression through trapping over 4010 hectares targeting rats, stoats and possums.

The work under this integrated species programme provides protection to existing threatened species populations of long-tailed bats – Pekapeka – or Chalinolobus tuberculatus, black-billed gulls, South Island kaka and whio, using a combination of predator trapping and landscape predator control.

Expansion of work enabled through this partnership will strengthen existing infrastructure and increase predator protection for long-tailed bats over a further 348 hectares targeting rats, stoats and feral cats.


This partnership will also help DoC increase its current understanding of two long-tailed bat colonies, their size, structure, and recruitment, as well as the distribution of long-tailed bats throughout the Maruia valley.

A long-term objective for Te Maruia Waka Huia is to have consistently kept rat and stoat predator numbers in the Marble Hill area below 5 per cent. This could enable threatened species re-introduction at this site, which OceanaGold has agreed to support.

Maruia is a hotspot for the long-tailed bat, one of New Zealand’s two remaining indigenous bat species.

Unlike its largely ground-foraging distant cousin, the short-tailed bat, the long-tailed is an aerial insectivore, and part of a widely distributed family of bats, in Australia and elsewhere.


Once common throughout New Zealand, the bats started becoming scarce 100 years ago due to habitat loss and predation, mainly by possums, rats and stoats.

Today Chalinolobus tuberculatus is a critically endangered species. Conservation work focuses on Maruia, and areas such as the Eglinton valley near Te Anau, Fiordland, and Pureora forest west of Lake Taupō.

The department also uses free-standing “harp” traps to catch lactating females or new mothers, and then fit them with miniature radio transmitters to track them back to colony roosts and catch the roost to understand colony size, structure, recruitment and, over years, monitor population trends.

Globe Progress update

The closed Globe Progress open pit gold mine is showcased in OceanaGold’s sustainability report for 2021, published in late May.

At that stage the company had rehabilitated more than 131 hectares of 260 hectares of disturbed ground in Victoria Conservation Park.

That includes the planting of about 850,000 native seedlings across the site.

OceanaGold plans to plant an additional estimated 150,000 beech and mānuka seedlings by December 2023/2024, which is the scheduled end of the planting programme.

As well, the company planted 44,000 littoral species last year on the margins of Fossickers Lake, the former tailings storage facility, and Globe Pit Lake, the former open pit.

The company will plant a further 20,000 seedlings this year to complete these areas.

To date, 85 per cent of the disturbed area has been replanted, with just under 30 hectares left to re-establish.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

As part of OceanaGold’s biodiversity studies supporting the proposed Waihi North Project, one of New Zealand’s living fossils has received some of its most in-depth attention to date.

The Archey’s frog is a living fossil, largely un-evolved from 150 million years ago, and is one of New Zealand’s only native frog species.

The endangered species is about the size of your thumbnail and is currently found in only three locations throughout the Waikato.

One of those locations is Wharekirauponga, where OceanaGold’s Waihi Operation is proposing to develop an underground gold mine.

As part of the mine consenting process OceanaGold has to provide enough information to demonstrate that the proposed mining activity will not have a negative impact on the frogs habitat and population.

With limited existing research to give insight, OceanaGold has assembled a team of highly experienced conservationists to get to know the species better than ever.

What has resulted is some of the most insightful research collected on the species to date and literally seeing more than ever before of this notoriously hard to find amphibian in its natural environment. This research suggests suggest the amphibian’s numbers on the Coromandel Peninsula are estimated to be 54.8 million.

“It has to have been raining, reasonably warm and at night before they show themselves”, says Cassie McArthur, OceanaGold Senior Environmental Advisor. “You think you’re never going to find them and then there they are!”

Cassie, a former Department of Conservation ranger, has been deeply involved in the study on the frog species for the past two years.

“Before we started this work there had only been limited and sporadic research, but now our understanding has grown exponentially. OceanaGold’s commitment to preservation and bio-diversity means we now have the knowledge and resources to ensure clear ways to protect and help see the Archey’s frog thrive”.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

This article was originally published in The Valley Profile in June 2022:  https://www.valleyprofile.co.nz/2022/06/22/new-vehicle-revs-up-waihi-landsar/

Waihī LandSAR can now tackle tough terrain for search and rescue in a new ute donated by OceanaGold.

Waihī LandSAR is a group of 24 volunteers available 24/7 to undertake search and rescue missions in Waihī and other urban and remote areas in Waikato and Bay of Plenty.
Chairman Darren Butler told The Profile the new four wheel drive dual cab ute would be a “huge asset” for the group.

“We do quite a bit of travel out of the area to assist with neighbouring search operations and regional training… but up until now we’ve all just relied on our own personal vehicles for transport to get anywhere. So to have a group vehicle available is a huge asset,” he said.
“[It] reduces the burden on the individuals… and being four wheel drive we get to do the areas that are out in the middle of nowhere so the four wheel drive side of things will be absolutely great for us.”

Darren said OceanaGold’s generosity to donate the ute to Waihī LandSAR, which had undertaken around five search and rescue missions this year, was “greatly appreciated.”

“Any income we get we need to fundraise ourselves… if [the new ute] wasn’t going to be from a donation, we probably couldn’t afford to go purchasing it and certainly nothing to the calibre of the vehicle they’ve just given us, so greatly appreciated,” he said.

Darren said the next step was to get a canopy, deck liner and towbar for the new ute to carry specialised equipment, which included stretchers and ropes.

OceanaGold said it won the ute in a Farm Source promotion and after recognising other organisations would benefit from the vehicle, decided to donate it to Waihī LandSAR due to its strong local presence and dedicated team of volunteers.

OceanaGold general manager operations Matt Hine said LandSar devoted hundreds of hours each year, with responses ranging from searching for lost hikers to helping locate family members suffering Dementia or Alzheimers.

“It’s a fantastic organisation which at its core represents reuniting loved ones [and] OceanaGold in conjunction with Waihī Farm Source are proud to support their ongoing work through the donation of the vehicle,” he said.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

In regional centres, not having a driver licence can be a real barrier to employment for young people. That’s why OceanaGold’s Waihi Operation is partnering with the new Jumpstart initiative to support Waihi students to get their full licence.

The Jumpstart Navigator program is a partnership between OceanaGold, Waihi College, local Police, Waihi community members and Blue Light – a charity that works with Police to help local young people – and has been designed for young people who may not have access to a reliable vehicle or no licenced adult to teach them how to drive.

Waihi Operation Community Development Advisor, Phil Salmon, said the Jumpstart was launched in February, after discussions with Waihi College about how OceanaGold could provide additional support for students transitioning to work.

“New Zealand has a graduated driver licensing system which means drivers move from a learner to a restricted and then a full licence over two years,” Phil said.

“While the system is designed to help train safe drivers, it can be difficult for young people who do not have regular access to a vehicle or someone to supervise them,” he said.

“The young people who face these barriers are often at-risk youth, and not having a driver’s licence can further perpetuate this by severely limiting employment opportunities.”

Waihi College Careers Co-ordinator, Carolyn Graveson, said without a licence, many young people, especially those in rural areas like Waihi, with no public transport, were disadvantaged.

“It means these students can’t drive a vehicle to work or to a training provider,” Carolyn said.

“Many jobs require a licence before they will employ you, so a program like Jumpstart can have a real, local impact,” she said.

Hauraki District Council Community Employment Liaison Officer, Julie Stephenson, said with the Jumpstart program, Waihi College students got driver training during school hours in a vehicle provided and maintained by OceanaGold.

“To date, eight community members have been trained as Navigators and are rostered on for two hours each week to drive with Waihi College students,” Julie said.

We have 23 students on the course, with over 100 hours of driver training delivered in the first two months,” she said.

“OceanaGold provides and maintains the vehicle, Waihi College organises the driving schedule, Blue Light staff train the Navigator and Waihi students benefit. It’s a great program.”

Hamish is the first Waihi College student to gain his Restricted Licence through the program and said it had been a huge help.

“The program helped get my driving confidence up. I had a lot more time on the road, and the Navigators gave me some great advice that really helped me pass my test,” Hamish said.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

A three-year partnership between OceanaGold and the University of Queensland (UQ) has included looking into the impacts of mining and mine site closure on First Nations People. The result – one of the first globally recognised industry research papers that affirmed, connected and elevated the voices of Indigenous leaders.

More than 40 First Nations people and affiliated researchers from across New Zealand, Canada and Australia came together last November to discuss the impacts of mining and mine site closure on their lands.

The Indigenous Exchange Forum: Transitions in Mine Closure was the culmination of many discussions by the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) Social Aspects of Mine Closure Research Consortium, of which OceanaGold is a founding member.

The Consortium was established in 2019 to conduct research that challenges accepted industry norms and practices and demands new approaches that place people at the centre of mine closure.

Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Dr Sarah Holcombe, said the purpose of the Forum was to build an international network across Indigenous communities to enable the sharing of experiences, struggles, and sentiments in relation to mine site transition and mine-related impacts on their lands.

“The Forum was an opportunity for Indigenous people to come together in a safe, open environment where all views were listened to and nothing was off the table,” Dr Holcombe said.

“For some of the participants, there was a lot of hurt and emotion shared, and for others it provided an opportunity to learn about best practice engagement that offered insights into new ways for industry and First Nations people to work together,” she said.

“By sharing stories, experiences, and the journey they have been on, the participants reaffirmed the need for intergenerational healing – or possibilities for healing.”

Multiple Māori iwi – the customary land-holding family groups – in Aotearoa, New Zealand who have rights and interests over OceanaGold’s three mine sites (the Waihi and Macraes Operations and Reefton Restoration Project), participated in the Forum.

“Collectively, the participants shared powerful insights about their experiences with the mines in the context of frontier battles, settler colonialism, and mine closure,” Dr Holcombe said.

“This included connection to Country, experiences of past mine closure, and concerns, expectations and aspirations about forthcoming closure.”

OceanaGold EVP – Sustainability, Sharon Flynn, said continuous improvement in social performance, and in particular, iwi and community engagement, was ingrained in the company’s culture.

“As a responsible miner, we own our past, our present and our future. And, by being an active member of the CSRM, we have participated in projects that have allowed for direct and unfiltered feedback, which have positively challenged our company, and are key to our growth in the future,” Sharon said.

OceanaGold is guided by an External Affairs and Social Performance Manual, which outlines policies and processes to identify and analyse how the company impacts the communities where it operates. Importantly, it guides the company to align its operational performance with local aspirations, values and cultures.

“We are on a journey of continuous improvement, and we understand that involves learning from the past, creating space for healing, and establishing collaborative and respectful engagement processes that deliver mutual outcomes,” Sharon said.

While Dr Holcombe noted that “what we’ve learned from this research, and the Forum in particular, is that mine closure offers an opportunity to mend and reset relationships. It’s never too late to start that journey.”

“There’s a legacy mining companies must take on board as part of their social performance, and continuous and close engagement with First Nations people forms part of that important process, especially in the transition from operations to closure,” Dr Holcombe said.

“The Forum dialogue echoed that sentiment. As a collective, the participants affirmed their willingness and commitment to continue to share, culturally connect and realise a way forward that is informed by intergenerational First Nation impacts,” she said.

“For mining companies, developing long-term governance systems that are culturally informed is a crucial step.”

Read the full report here.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

Historic progress for saving the Carolina Heelsplitter is underway in Lancaster County.

The Carolina Heelsplitter – a freshwater mussel – is one of the rarest species on the planet. Now, thanks to collective work led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and funded by the Haile Gold Mine, the Carolina Heelsplitter has a better chance at survival than it has had in decades.

Morgan Wolf, is the USFWS’ lead National Recovery Biologist for the Carolina Heelsplitter project. For the past several years, Morgan and her team have been working hard to save this critical species.

In 2017, for the first time in recorded history, they released the initial batch of lab-raised heelsplitters in Flat Creek. In October 2021, Wolf and fellow agents were back again, carefully trekking the calm Flat Creek waters in search of a stable area to introduce 559 juvenile heelsplitters.

“Flat Creek provides the clean, well-oxygenated water needed for nourishment. This area contains some of the best remaining habitat for the species known to exist,” Morgan said.

Each juvenile Heelsplitter is raised at the Orangeburg Mussel Conservation Center (OMCC) through a program responsible for propagating the endangered species. The project, which began in 2015, included the challenge of figuring out how to emulate the reproduction process.

The female’s fertilized eggs are released into the water to find and attach to a specific fish species during the phase. The larvae remain attached for weeks while drawing nourishment from their unharmed host. Once developed into juveniles, the heelsplitter drops off the fish and settles to the bottom of the stream.

If it’s an area supportive to Heelsplitter, they will continue to grow. Habitat or water quality issues will hinder development, and they won’t be able to reproduce, eventually dying out. Figuring out how to replicate the reproduction process in a lab was difficult.

Thankfully, the USFWS and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources worked together to solve the puzzle. The 559 mussels released in October joined more than 1,000 others released into river basins in the Pee Dee, Saluda, Savannah, and Catawba regions.

Morgan calls the OMCC a “game-changer” for species recovery. “It allows us to produce animals in South Carolina, near heelsplitter occupied habitats for the first time ever,” she said.

Haile Gold Mine funding was one of the main components leading to the program’s establishment. As part of Haile’s Conservation Management Plan for impacts to local waters, the company committed a $3.7 million endowment divided into annual contributions for the Carolina Heelsplitter. Approximately $1.6 million has been provided for the program since 2015.

“This endowment is a substantial contribution to propagation and research efforts for the species for the foreseeable future,” Morgan said.

Haile also supports the project by fostering some of the best remaining habitats for the heelsplitter known to exist. Juveniles released in October were stocked on the lower portion of Flat Creek, property Haile once owned before the company donated it to the Katawba Valley Land Trust.

“We respect and strive to protect our natural environments where we work,” Haile Gold Mine Executive General Manager, David Londono, said. “The Haile Gold Mine team will continue to work with the USFWS and other supporting agencies to hopefully one day enjoy the Heelsplitters flourishing on their own.”

Healthy habitats are critical to the heelsplitter’s future and access to the areas helps to augment population numbers and monitor the program’s success. Morgan said at least one heelsplitter population in the state is augmented each year.

“While our propagation efforts may be successful, recovery is limited by suitable stream habitat in which to place animals, and also the willingness of private landowners to allow augmentation on their lands,” she said.

Fish and Wildlife consistently battles against negative factors such as climate change, deforestation, permitted and non-permitted discharges into streams, and other problems that threatens the species.  For more information on the Carolina Heelsplitter visit https://www.fws.gov/species/carolina-heelsplitter-lasmigona-decorata.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

Governments and business around the world face growing expectations to deliver a net zero global carbon economy by 2050, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement. Today, business analysts, investors, insurers and consumers not only expect to see a net zero commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2050, but also a deliberate, staged and defensible plan to deliver emissions reductions over time to achieve the 2050 goal.

In 2020, OceanaGold committed to achieving net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050. During 2021, operational and corporate sustainability teams worked together to identify specific actions to reduce emissions across the company – taking into account the projects already underway, emerging technologies and actions by governments to increase renewables in their power grids.

In February 2022, the OceanaGold Board approved an interim target to reduce carbon emissions per ounce of gold produced by 30 per cent by 2030 (based on 2019 performance levels). This interim climate change target is based on a clear action plan to help reach OceanaGold’s goal to net zero operational greenhouse emissions by 2050.

Decarbonisation in the mining industry

Decarbonisation is seen as a major disrupter in the mining and metals industry and according to Ernst and Young’s latest mining sector report (Top mining and metals risks and opportunities in 2022), it is in the top three business risks for 2022.

The World Gold Council (WGC) has recognised the need for strong action within the industry, identifying four key focus areas to manage greenhouse gas emissions – decarbonisation of mobile equipment fleet, decarbonisation of electricity supply, energy efficiency in the static plant, and carbon capture, sequestration, and offsets.

The company had developed an emissions reduction strategy to provide a pathway to maintain focus and build capability in emissions management across the organisation – with a focus on three of these areas; decarbonisation of the mobile equipment, increased use of renewable energy, and energy use/energy efficiency improvements.

A non-linear approach to net zero

OceanaGold General Manager for Health, Safety and Environment, Greg Scanlan, said the 2030 target was determined following industry benchmarking, the establishment of an emissions intensity baseline, and identification of reduction opportunities at an operational level.

“The pathway to deliver the 2030 target will need to adapt given actual performance, increasing regulatory and market pressures, rapidly changing technology and as frameworks for measuring and reporting are adapted and developed,” Greg said.

“There is a long way to go to net zero and our journey won’t be linear. Our interim 2030 climate change targets will help drive focus and innovation across the company, meet our stakeholders’ expectations and set a challenging but achievable pathway in line with industry targets.”

“In 2019 (our baseline year), OceanaGold generated 0.52 tonnes of CO2e per ounce of gold produced, lower than the industry average of 0.8 tonnes of CO2e  per ounce of gold produced, as reported by the World Gold Council.”

Technology and innovation key to decarbonisation

As a responsible miner, OceanaGold continuously improves and innovates the way it explores, extracts and processes minerals, drawing on the latest advanced technology and systems to improve performance.

Clear actions are required to reach decarbonisation and rapid advances in technology and innovation, including electrification, are central to the mining industry’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact.

“We are on an exciting journey of innovation and transformation in an industry which is vital to us all as we transition to a low-carbon world. Since 2018, OceanaGold has been implementing a company-wide program of automation, digital and process transformation, which is helping our company define the journey to operate the mines of the future,” Greg said.

In line with the interim 2030 target, OceanaGold has developed an internal reporting and visualisation tool (dashboard) that will improve tracking of its emissions in close to real time, support operational decision-making and maintain a focus on the performance of each operation.

Clear actions to reduce impact

“Our strategy supports an adaptive approach to driving emissions reduction by providing flexibility within the plan to respond to emergent opportunities, lessons learned at other sites, and evolving organisational priorities,” Greg said.

“The primary focus will be around decreasing the carbon intensity from our electricity suppliers, which is achievable through an increased focus on the purchase of renewable energy, through national government initiatives to encourage and mandate greening of grid electricity.”

The company will also be seeking to identify and accelerate decarbonising its mobile equipment fleet. Displacing or reducing diesel as the primary fuel for mining equipment, with a view to implement electrification and the use of alternative fuels such as biodiesel, hydrogen and emerging (hybrid) technology.

“OceanaGold will reduce energy use throughout its operation by reducing energy losses, using solar lighting wherever possible, and improving equipment use efficiency,” Greg said.

“By the end of June 2022 all operations will have completed negotiations with their current electricity supplier to maximise the renewable energy component of supply broadly consistent with current commercial costs.”

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

This article was originally published in the Otago Daily Times in March 2022: https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/just-mars-rover-inspiration

Farmers – if you discover a six-wheeled robot terrifying your sheep in the Macraes area, do not panic. It just means Mark Campbell’s rover has suffered a minor technical fault.

The 15-year-old Logan Park High School pupil has built a fully functioning rover which is operating in an unused area of the OceanaGold Macraes Operation in East Otago and is being managed remotely from his Dunedin home via a 3G connection.

“It’s solar powered and it’s autonomous. All I have to do is put some points on a map on my laptop, and it will drive there by itself.”

It can drive for up to 11 hours each day. It also has a real-time camera and a time-lapse camera that takes a photo every 60 seconds which allows him to see the rover’s daily movements concisely.

Trials of his rover started around his home, then moved to the streets of Dunedin, and now it is navigating Martian-type terrain at Macraes.

“Originally, I was just looking at the Mars Rovers on YouTube and I thought that was pretty cool.

“Then I wanted to give it a crack myself. I started buying parts online and just started doing it.”

He said he did a lot of research online for designs and had spent the past two years bringing the rover to fruition using his own money (leveraged with in-kind funding from his parents), Otago Institute science fair prize money and a Ministry of Education grant.

 Mark was delighted when Macraes mine bosses allowed him to set up his rover in an unused part of the mine and was confident it would remain in the confines of the allotted space.

“The ground’s really loose and the gravel just slides underneath the wheels and it’s a big open area so there’s lots of room to drive around without being run over by one of those big dump trucks.

“Originally, I did this just for fun – achieving the goal of just being able to drive purely off solar power.

“I thought that was pretty out-of-reach for me, but it actually wasn’t.”

He now has ambitions of working for a tech company that builds robots and rovers which could explore other planets in our solar system.

“It would definitely be cool to work in that field.”

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

OceanaGold is well on its way to have a process in place to conform with the World Gold Council’s Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs).

OceanaGold’s General Manager for Health, Safety and Environment, Greg Scanlan, said OceanaGold was closing out the second year of a three-year preparedness program, and was working to demonstrate conformance with the RGMPs by September this year.

“In 2021, each World Gold Council member company was required to complete a self-assessment, to identify the gaps remaining to conform to the RGMPs,” Greg said.

“This gap assessment helped identify conformance and areas for continuous improvement around environment, social and governance (ESG) internal systems and processes,” he said.

“The second-year self-assessment process was then validated through external assurance in September 2021, to confirm OceanaGold continues to progress our first-year corrective action plans against identified continuous improvement opportunities. ”

“OceanaGold has a strong commitment to sustainable practices across its Global operations and prides itself as a strong ESG performer. We see conformance to the RGMP’s as another way to demonstrate our commitment to integrated performance across functions.”

Greg said the company’s performance in the year two self-assessment had identified some additional continuous improvement opportunities but confirms OceanaGold is on the right track.

“We acknowledge that if the requirements of the RGMPs were applied at the time of the Year 2 assurance audit (September 2021), we would have difficulty demonstrating conformance in certain governance sub principles. However, work required to meet these RGMP sub principles requires a longer lead time to reach full conformance (for example, establishing and embedding the responsible supply chain framework). Our development of these processes and detailed action plans will support future conformance.”

“Upholding high standards is part of our culture at OceanaGold and is good business. It’s what every global company strives for.”

Going into 2022, the key continuous improvement areas for OceanaGold include:


  • Continuing to develop Energy Management plans that identify emission reduction opportunities in support of the delivery of OceanaGold’s interim carbon reduction targets and transition to Net Zero Emissions by 2050.
  • Build business resilience by understanding climate change risks to the business based on IPCC global warming models (physical and transition risk assessments undertaken for all assets) and making relevant disclosures in accordance with the recommendations made by the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
  • Strengthening closure planning processes and ensuring robust water management systems are implemented at each operation.


  • Continuing to mature the social performance systems at each operation, including undertaking social risk assessments.
  • Continuing Human Rights Policy training.
  • Continuing to enhance robust stakeholder engagement processes.


  • Developing and implementing a multi-year action plan for responsible supply chain processes across the organisation, including human rights and modern slavery.

Reviewing and enhancing our processes for permitting and consenting governance and where relevant, incorporating it into business practices and decision-making.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

We recently spoke to Gavin Lee, the Macraes Operation’s Environment and Community Manager, about how water is managed on site. 

Water is essential to life and underpins the health of people and communities. It has significant social, ecological, cultural and economic values.

Water is also vital when mining for and producing gold, and at the Macraes Operation, water is used in a number of ways. From the trout hatchery, to the processing plant, to the way we capture stormwater and safely store it.

Each step in our processing plant requires water to separate the valuable minerals containing the gold from the host rock. We initially add water when grinding up gold-bearing ore turning it into slurry (a paste-like mixture of fine rock and water). At this consistency we’re able to move the mixture from one step to the next. Water is also used for mixing reagents like cyanide which dissolves the gold and allows it to be removed from all the other material.

After we remove the gold, the remaining material, which contains trace amounts of cyanide is passed through a cyanide destruction process (the INCO process) to reduce the environmental risk, then pumped as tailings to the tailings storage facility (TSF).

In the processing plant, about 90% of the water we use is recycled, much of it from the tailings storage facilities. About 5% of the water we use is taken from silt ponds, or other water storages which are not able to be discharged, and about 5% (between 1,500 – 1,800 cubic metres a day, or about two thirds of an Olympic Swimming Pool), comes from the Taieri River.

We have three permits with the Otago Regional Council that allow us to take water from the Taieri River. When the flow in the river is low, we work with a group of irrigators in the catchment, called the Strath Taieri Irrigation Group (STIG), to ensure a minimum flow is maintained in the river. STIG has a coordinator who sends out a text message when it is our time to switch on and off the water pumps.

Before the water gets used in the process plant, it is used to produce trout at the Macraes Trout Hatchery. Established in 2004 in collaboration with conservation organisation Fish & Game, the hatchery is a fantastic example of how we can create shared value with our stakeholders. From an initial capital expenditure of NZ$60,000 nearly 20 years ago, the trout hatchery has become enormously successful at continuously supplying trout for the benefit of anglers in Otago.

It is also critical we manage water around the surface mining areas. Erosion from rain leading to sediment run-off needs to be contained in appropriately designed drainage that feeds into silt ponds, where the sediment settles out before the water is discharged to local creeks. Water also needs to be pumped away from open pit floors and the underground to ensure safe and efficient mining operations.

Through our environmental monitoring program, we have found that water that passes through the waste rock stacks may collect sulphates and nitrates. In some cases, the concentrations of these compounds are such that this water cannot be discharged, and it is pumped back into the site water management system.

This process is possible in the short term, however once the mine closes it presents a challenge. Research is currently underway to examine two options. One option is to use this water for irrigation. As sulphates and nitrates are fertilisers, the use of waste rock seepage for irrigation offers the opportunity for a win-win for the mine and the farming community. We are currently working with the University of Otago and a number of lessees to understand the potential of this water.

Where irrigation may not be possible, our team is also working with a research company, Verum, on enhanced passive water treatment. This treatment uses natural processes to convert and remove the sulphates and nitrates from the waste rock water. We have completed a series of lab-based trials and the next step will be a field pilot program. We also worked with Verum on the passive water treatment plant for our Reefton Restoration Project.

With the expanding footprint of the mine, we are collecting additional water and a lot of this water cannot be discharged. At Macraes we have a negative water balance, meaning there is more evaporation than rainfall. So, we use a sprinkler system that utilises evaporation from the sun and wind, to help reduce the volume of water on site. This is particularly important for maintaining the correct freeboard (water levels) on the TSFs.

Water is becoming a scarcer and more valued commodity. Looking forward, we are likely to face changes in rainfall patterns with more intense rainfall and long periods without rain. What this means for mining is that we need to always be thinking about how we can reduce our water consumption by minimising use and increasing reuse.

In our Water Management Statement of Position we commit to reducing our water-related impacts through collaboration, partnerships, product stewardship, minimising our use and a strong focus on operational control and improving operational performance. Using water wisely is good for the environment, good for society and also good for business.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

For Justin Johns – who joined OceanaGold in 2010 and has worked at the Globe Progress Mine, Macraes Operation, Haile Gold Mine and Waihi Operation – OceanaGold is a career destination with real growth potential.

Justin Johns spent his whole childhood in Kalgoorlie but has spent most of his mining career in New Zealand.

Along the way, Justin has worked at almost every OceanaGold operation and found challenges and opportunities at every site.

“My Dad said to me ‘If you’re not going to study, you’ll just end up digging holes for a living’. I went to university in Western Australia and ended up with a degree in chemistry and back in Kalgoorlie working in a lab,” Justin said.

Justin said he soon realised that wasn’t for him and returned to study part time for two years at the School of Mines, while continuing to work full time, receiving a Diploma in Metallurgy.

“I had discovered my passion. The ability to create something out of rock,” he said.

Joining OceanaGold in 2010 as Process Manager at the Globe Progress Mine (now Reefton Restoration Project), Justin says that it was really special to develop a team that worked so well together to improve the plant year on year, whether from a tonnage or cost perspective.

“The Reefton site, high up in the Paparoa Range and looking out over the mountains is just awesome and making concentrate to be shipped by rail to the other side of the South Island to our Macraes mine was very different.”

Justin followed the concentrate, working in Dunedin and Macraes as Metallurgical Superintendent and Process Manager.

“The Macraes Operation is a well-established and far more complex site and also a really good place for a person entering the industry to get wide ranging experience in their trade or degree.”

“A comparatively old plant coupled with the complexities of the autoclave system was fascinating. Innovative technological solutions with computer systems and data management allowed us to provide end users with really useful information very quickly and for valid decisions to be made based on reliable information.”

Justin’s next move was to the Haile Gold Mine for three years, which he describes as “challenging, but very rewarding”.

“The site has variable ore sources, and the plant is complex and advanced, dealing with refractory gold and a very fine grind. There are many advanced control systems and there is the ability to link systems together to provide advanced plant control and reporting systems.”

Now back in New Zealand, and at the Waihi Operation, Justin says there are further opportunities to push learnings and technologies from other operations to further optimise ore processing at the mine.

“The main thing is building a high performing team. In the end, the technology is a tool, it’s the team who use that technology that’s really important.”

“OceanaGold is a ‘Goldilocks’ company. We are not too big and not too small – big enough to provide a significant opportunity to get exposure to many aspects of the industry, chase various career paths and work at different locations, but small enough to be innovative, to try things, to influence and direct change.”

“At OceanaGold, if you show you are willing to learn and put in a good effort, the scope is certainly there.”

Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home

Having commenced commercial operations over 31 years ago, the Macraes Operation in New Zealand’s South Island has grown to become one of the world’s lowest-cost operations and New Zealand’s largest gold-producing mine.

In late October Macraes celebrated an important milestone – first production from the new Golden Point Underground, with five thousand tonnes of ore being moved to the mill for processing.

Golden Point Underground is OceanaGold’s newest underground mine, having commenced development in 2020. The project was one of a number of recent underground and open pit expansions at Macraes and will soon replace operations at Frasers Underground.

Underground Mine Manager, James Isles, said the team delivered first production on schedule despite encountering challenging ground conditions in the upper section of the Golden Point decline.

“To ensure we were developing a decline that delivers long-term stability and safety, we implemented a rapid cable bolt installation system,” James said.

“Using the new system, the anchors can be drilled and secured by a jumbo operating at the face as part of the normal ground support cycle and encapsulated using pumpable resin by the support crew when they come in to charge the heading.”

“Cable bolts are used to stabilise the walls and roof of the drives and the new system is much more efficient.”

Macraes Operation General Manager, Mike Fischer, said innovation like this was central to the mining approach at the Macraes Operation.

“Macraes started mining in 1990 with a life of seven years. We recently surpassed 31 years of continuous mining, and in large part that’s down to the quality of the team, their commitment to safety, community, our environment, and always innovating,” Mike said.

“Every day we focus on the partnerships, technologies and skills we need to sustainably mine gold for many years to come. As we look ahead, this includes more efficient production, while lowering our emissions profile,” he said.

“We continually look to the future and have recently conducted a Climate Change Risk Assessment. This is an important step in the development of our plans to address climate change and greenhouse gas emissions and will support the OceanaGold Corporate target to be Carbon Neutral by 2050.”

Having just completed his second month as General Manager, Mike said that although the Macraes Operation might be considered a mature mine, after 31 years of continuous operation there is the potential for the mine to be producing for another 30 years.

“Macraes is a long-life mineral precinct that continues to be responsibly developed to deliver positive outcomes for all stakeholders,” Mike said.

“We’ve operated for over 31 years and produced over five million ounces of gold. In late 2020 we delivered our single longest life of mine extension, of eight years, and we are working to produce around 1.1 million ounces of gold over that time,” he said.

“We’re proud to be contributing to economic growth. Our operation accounts for approximately 20% – 30% of the local economy and in 2020 we provided employment for around 1,000 people, invested over US$124 million with local and national suppliers and contributed over US$24 million in taxes, rates and royalties.”

The Macraes Operation is currently operating in three open pits (Coronation, Frasers and Deepdell) and two underground mines (Frasers Underground and Golden Point Underground).

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

As far as the dozens of young people at Lancaster Children’s Home are concerned, the dead-end road sign on Children’s Avenue is inaccurate.  The road, and the agency operating there, offers an outlet and a passageway to a better life than the one each child originally inherited.

The Lancaster Children’s Home affords a chance for the children to press “reset” since many have been abandoned, neglected, or abused in some way. State funding and grants provide only a portion of the funds required to operate the facility in a “home-like” way.

Community support from companies like Haile Gold Mine helps the agency operate just a little easier for the children and dedicated employees.

Haile recently joined other local corporate sponsors to fund the 11th Annual Fall Flurry Clay Shoot – the biggest fundraiser event for the Lancaster Children’s Home. In November the operation donated 63lbs of wild boar sausage to stock the facility’s freezer.

Wild Boar pose a threat to infrastructure and humans. The Haile Gold Mine conducts a trap and kill program to reduce the onsite population when frequent sightings occur. The pigs are processed, and meat is donated in the community wherever a need exists.

“We absolutely love the Haile Gold Mine, they have been wonderful to us,” Director of Community Development, April Joplin said.

Haile also provided items for outdoor activities last summer, which April said was a great treat for the children. The COVID-19 pandemic has limited the agency’s ability to host onsite programs for the children. The need for other activities significantly increased.

“The outdoor activity items were wonderful for our kids and gave them things to keep them occupied outside. You can’t take a troubled teen and make them sit in their bedroom 24/7. That’s a recipe for disaster,” she said.

Community support is perhaps the biggest factor in the success of the facility. April said state support provides little more than enough for “three hots and a cot.”

According to April, considerably more is needed to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the children. For example, many referrals necessitate maintaining counseling services. Some also need glasses, which means trips to appointments.

Part of April’s job is seeking opportunities for more funding. Lancaster Children’s Home relies heavily on grants and fundraising efforts. Food donations are important, but there are challenges because the facility cooks in bulk so small cans of food aren’t as helpful. AmazonSmile has been a big help.

The online portal is separate from Amazon’s main website. It offers the same items and benefits as Amazon.com but has a big charitable difference. When you purchase on AmazonSmile, 0.5% of the price goes to the charity of your choice at no extra charge to the charity or customer.

“We promote that a lot on our social media. We’ll have people go online and order the bulk food and it’ll be shipped to us,” April said.

Residents of Sun City Carolina Lakes have also been instrumental in their support of Lancaster Children’s Home. The panhandle community’s Friends of Lancaster Children’s Home and a Helping Hands group have stepped up to meet needs as they arise.

“Both of those groups go above and beyond to help us out,” she said.

There’s plenty of opportunities for you to help out with Christmas right around the corner. You can donate gifts to the children by checking Lancaster Children’s Home Facebook and Instagram pages. The agency frequently updates both outlets with a list of needs. Christmas wish lists will also be shared on social media.

April said the great thing about support from corporations like Haile is the example it sets for employees.

“We’ve had employees from Haile reach out and ask what they can do. When your employer is setting the example, it encourages the employees to be a philanthropist and want to do the same thing,” she said.

If you would like to support the Lancaster Children’s Home, please reach out to them at +1 803 286 5277, or follow their social media pages for donation information. The agency is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

Following a surge of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines this year, local government officials and OceanaGold’s Didipio Mine repurposed the Didipio Family Health Centre as an isolation unit to help manage and treat people within the Didipio and neighbouring communities.

The Mine turned over the facility to Barangay Didipio as a health facility in 2018, to cater for the emergency health needs of the community. In June this year, as the number of COVID-19 cases in community increased, Lolita Kigi-e, one of the Mine’s Occupational Health Supervisors, was seconded to spearhead the operation of the Didipio Family Health Centre as a COVID-19 facility. Lolita, a Didipio resident and a registered nurse who worked in Saudi Arabia for over six years, was pleased to accept the assignment and serve her fellow Didipio residents.

Renovations were undertaken to meet the requirements of the Department of Health (DOH) for the Centre to serve as a COVID-19 isolation facility. The Centre was re-opened, fully equipped with medicines and supplies, including emergency response equipment, appropriate PPE and Rapid Antigen Test kits. It’s now staffed by five nurses and two nursing aides.

Since opening, the facility has hired two health consultants – a surgeon and an internist – to conduct consultations and minor surgery every Tuesday and Thursday. This service has eased the burden on community members who needed to obtain COVID-19 related travel documents in order to leave their barangay for other medical treatments. The Centre has also hired on-call specialists, including an obstetrics gynaecologist, paediatricians and a sonologist, who consult on site as required by the community. With the additional medical staff, the Centre has been able to treat patients who cannot be admitted to hospital due to a shortage of available beds.

Didipio Mine Occupational Health Supervisor, Lolita Kigi-e, said the Mine was committed to helping the local government units and the Didipio Family Health Centre support the health and wellbeing of the people in Didipio and adjacent communities.

“Originally the Centre was built with a 10-bed capacity, but it can now accommodate up to 15 patients and it has the capacity to treat patients who have COVID-19 symptoms who are isolating, and those who require treatment,” Lolita said.

“Since opening in June, the Centre has served 62 COVID-19 patients, with most being classified as severe, and 11 non-COVID-19 cases diagnosed with pneumonia, most requiring paediatric services,” she said.

“The Centre has also conducted more than 900 Rapid Antigen Tests and is providing contact tracing services in partnership with the Barangay Health Station.”

“While acting as an isolation facility, the Centre still provides routine and emergency medical services to roughly 15-20 people per day,” Lolita said.

The Didipio Mine has invested PhP13.1 million (over US$261,000) constructing, re-fitting and equipping the Centre and has allocated an additional Php12.4million (over $US247,000) to support the Centre’s COVID-19 operating expenses.  Barangay Didipio also continues to support the operation of the Centre from its Social Development and Management Fund.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

This article was published in Inside Resources in October 2021: New Macraes GM eyes another 1.1m ozs

OceanaGold’s new general manager at Macraes is already focused on the challenges ahead to produce a further 1.1 million ounces of gold during the next eight years.

Mike Fischer, who started in the Macraes GM role in late-September, tells Inside Resources he’s focused on strategic business development outcomes, safety and risk management, and developing successful operational teams.

“I’ve arrived at an exciting time for Macraes and look forward to leading the team as we work towards the production of 1.1 million ounces of gold over the next eight years.”

Mainstay mine

During the past three decades Macraes has been the mainstay of the company’s four mines, having delivered more than 5 million ounces of gold; the East Otago mine employs more than 650 staff.

After 30 years working around the world, Fischer says taking up the Macraes GM role is “just like coming home”.

“After gaining my degree at Otago over 35 years ago, I’m now back in the district and just up the road. It’s good to be back.”

Fischer holds a Bachelor of mineral technology (first class honours) from Otago university and a South African metalliferous mine manager’s certificate, and is also a registered professional engineer in South Africa.

He replaces Matt Hine who went to OceanaGold’s Waihi mine.

Macraes life-of-mine extension a ‘launching pad’

Fischer says he’s taking time to get to understand the Macraes operation and to know the people working there.

His first impressions are of the level of motivation amongst the team, the high quality of work, and the excellent mining conditions and housekeeping in all areas of the operation.

“Thanks to the work the team here has put in, we have the longest-ever extension to the Macraes life-of-mine. We’re currently seeing the benefit of that as we invest in infrastructure and equipment.”

Fischer has significant experience in increasing and optimising mine production.

“Now we must use this as a solid foundation for future development and make sure we make the most of all opportunities. This is a launching pad.”

He says that as well as gaining a full understanding of the Macraes operation, he’s looking forward to meeting the mine’s neighbours and spending time in the community and with stakeholders.

Experience worldwide

Fischer has previously worked in senior management roles in gold and base metal mines in South Africa, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and, most recently, Mongolia.

In Mongolia he was chief executive officer at a high-grade gold mine, responsible for introducing new stoping methods more suited to the narrow ore body, developing comprehensive life-of-mine plans, expanding the process plant to triple its throughput and developing and implementing new reporting structures and systems.

Fischer has significant experience in managing large underground and open pit mines, narrow vein underground mine operations, project management, and in building mid-tier mining companies.

At Kumtor in Kyrgyzstan, Fischer was instrumental in the recapitalisation of the mine which resulted in a quantum increase in open pit production – from 280,000 tonnes to 600,000 tonnes per day.

The mine accounted for 12 per cent of Kyrgyzstan’s GDP and more than half its total export receipts. For 2021, the 24-year-old Kumtor mine is estimating gold production in a range of 470,000 to 510,000 ounces.

Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home

This article was published in the Mining News in October 2021: New life for one of New Zealand’s oldest gold mines

One of New Zealand’s oldest mines is getting a technological makeover, with equipment and a digital transformation playing a key part in boosting output and making it the country’s most technologically advanced underground mine.

The Martha Underground Mine is part of OceanaGold’s Waihi Operation, in the town of Waihi on New Zealand’s North Island. First operated in 1879, the mine was one of the world’s greatest gold mines back in its day, until a drop in the gold price saw the mine gate shut in 1952. By then, 175km of tunnels had been driven into the quartz of Martha Hill.

A rising gold price in the 1980s reignited interest in Martha from the then newly-established, Waihi Gold Mining Company, with the Martha open pit mine opening in June 1988, before being acquired by Newmont in 2002.

Today, the mine is owned by OceanaGold, which bought the operation in 2015. After the acquisition, OceanaGold quickly established a significant exploration program and introduced technology to improve the operation’s performance and output.

Waihi Operation General Manager, Matthew Hine, said the company was very pleased with the progress made at the new Martha Underground.

“Development of the Martha Underground kicked off in February 2019, achieved first gold production in mid-2020 and continuous milling this year,” Matthew said.

“Martha Underground is one of a number of exciting opportunities for the operation. In July 2020, we released our Waihi District Study, which outlined the potential for an extended mine life for Waihi to 2036 from the Martha Underground, Wharekirauponga (WKP) Underground, Gladstone Open Pit and a cutback of the existing Martha Open Pit.”

“We continue to be very excited for the future. Expanding Waihi and developing the Wharekirauponga Underground would bring significant economic, social and environmental investment along with hundreds of additional jobs.”

Not bad for an old gold mine that has endured a stop-start existence.

OceanaGold recently invested in Sandvik equipment for Martha Underground, including three new LH517i loaders complete with Sandvik’s AutoMine remote bogging product, two TH551i trucks and a DL431 production drill. Two new DD421i development drills fitted with 10/16 split feeds are expected on site soon to complement the existing fleet.

Waihi Underground Mine Manager, Alex Watkins, said the AutoMine system allows for one bogger operator to simultaneously manage multiple stope locations, from surface.

“The tonnes bogged per hour rates we are seeing from implementation of the new AutoMine system are a 15% improvement on what we had previously. We are seeing less wear on our bogging fleet as the remote paths are strategically mapped and tramming speeds are set before remote activities start,” Alex said.

“The equipment and its technology are supported by a SMART Centre, operating on the surface 24hrs a day. It acts as the gatekeeper for an array of digital information, broadcasting operational performance that ranges from primary pump station dewatering rates, through to ventilation draw and operator cycle time. It interfaces as a suite of interactive reports, which the operations team interrogate as part of the continuous improvement process to de-bottleneck the operation.”

Two such focus areas are reducing mine profiles and improving truck efficiencies.

“Reduced ore drive profile sizes have recently been reviewed with careful consideration given to our downhole drilling requirements and ore body geometry. A reduction in the cross-sectional area throughout our ore drives will have a range of benefits including faster development rates reaching stope fronts earlier, reduced costs and higher development ore tonne grades delivered to the ROM,” Alex said.

Along with the new TH551i trucking fleet demonstrating greater payloads and tramming speeds, and to further improve efficiencies, OceanaGold installed ventilation door switches in the dashboard of the truck cabins. The switches remove the need for trucks to stop on the main travel way.

“The vent doors are now remote controlled by a switch built into the truck, to prevent them  from stopping on the decline. Across the truck fleet, stopping on the decline was equating to up to 5,000 lost hours per year – so we have essentially added a new truck into our fleet without absorbing the cost of purchasing one. We will also see less mechanical wear and premature failure to truck transmissions and final drives,” Alex said.

For Alex, helping get the Martha Underground operation up and running is a fresh challenge. He swapped the red dust of Western Australia for the cooler climes of Waihi a couple of months ago to take over as Waihi Underground Manager. A residential worker, Alex lives about three minutes from the mine.

“I’d been hearing about Waihi here and there, the mine’s location and the iconic history interested me,” Alex said.

“Most of the mine workers are local to the area. The mine provides excellent community support to Waihi and nearby towns.”

Alex reckons he got to Waihi at an interesting time, with development of the Martha Underground ramping up alongside production.

“Development is still very much a focus area and we are trending well with our physicals, increasing and over achieving on our development rates are critical to opening up new stoping areas early, the key is to get to steady state production, safely and ahead of schedule,” Alex said.

“My job is to make the project efficient, cash-flow positive and turn out a self-funding site safely.”

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

With mining in the blood, Josue’s pursuit of a career in mining started at the age of 14 where he attended a mining technical school in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While following in his father’s footsteps as a Metallurgist, he says he would probably be a farmer had he not moved to the United States to follow his dream.

“A scientist through and through, I think I would be running a farm and applying science and technology to farming practices had I not studied metallurgy,” Josue said.

“But it was while I was conducting an experiment extracting copper metal from a copper sulphate solution at school that I knew that metallurgy was for me. It was pure magic,” he said.

OceanaGold was in his sights and became Josue’s first professional opportunity in the industry. After studying in Colorado for eight years including completing a master’s degree in Extractive Metallurgy, the company offered him an internship. He commenced in 2016 as a graduate and, and all things going to plan, he intends to stay long-term.

“I’m doing what I love, and the company provides me with a sense of ownership and professional opportunities that larger companies can’t offer.”

Josue said while there have been challenges, he can look back with a sense of pride at his achievements and honestly say that he has delivered process improvements.

“I think we’ve got something good going on here,” he said.

“I feel informed – not just about the Haile operation but about the business globally and how it performs and what the plans are for the future.

“And when you feel informed, you feel empowered. That makes me do my best every day.”

Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home

Born and raised in Lancaster County, South Carolina, Beverly Adams has lived in close proximity to the Haile Gold Mine her entire life, but until six years ago she had never imagined forming a career with the mine.

After 23 years in the banking industry, in 2015 Beverly saw a new opportunity working with OceanaGold, who had just purchased the mine from Romarco Minerals.

It was perfect timing. Beverly was ready for a change – but not just with any company. Her new employer would need to share the same strong community values.

“As a branch manager at one of our local banks, I had dealings with many of the landowners who had sold land to OceanaGold as they expanded their operations, and they always spoke so highly of their interactions with the company,” Beverly said.

“The most common feedback I got was that OceanaGold wasn’t transactional. They worked closely with landowners to relocate them to suitable housing, find loans for new properties, and in some cases, even helped them find new homes and move,” she said.

“Through these conversations with my local community, I formed an appreciation of the company’s culture, so when I investigated a new job at the mine, I didn’t hesitate to take up an offer.

“Fast forward six years, and I am working in a job I love, in a team environment where I am learning every day and developing my career along a new path. Life sometimes surprises us with rare opportunities, and I’m grateful this one came my way.”

Beverly quickly earned her stripes with OceanaGold, and it wasn’t long before her work ethic and community-minded approach were recognised with a promotion to the role of Community Relations Coordinator.

“I’ve got the best office in the world,” Beverly exclaimed, commenting on the historic Kershaw rail depot, which OceanaGold purchased and restored in 2010. Today, the depot is open to the public as the Kershaw Historical Museum and is used by OceanaGold as a community meeting space. The museum comprises items donated by the town’s residents and objects found at the Haile Gold Mine.

“It’s a unique building that brings the mining and local community together, allowing us all to connect in a space that’s steeped in local history,” she said.

“It’s meaningful to our community that OceanaGold recognises our past and celebrates it. I’ve never worked for a company that genuinely recognises their broad social impact the way OceanaGold does.”

Beverly said before modern day mining recommenced at Haile in the early 2000s, the County was best known as a textile manufacturing hub.

“When the industry predominantly left our region, unemployment skyrocketed,” she said.

“OceanaGold’s sustainable mining approach ensures we will never impact the town or its people in that manner.”

“I’m proud to be part of a global team dedicated to delivering and monitoring programs with a strong social conscience. The goal is to ensure our host communities are self-sufficient when mine life eventually ends.”

Serving her community is clearly part of Beverly’s DNA. When asked about her proudest career achievements, she didn’t describe a project she had delivered on time or a cost saving she had made. Instead, Beverly talked about the way she had made people feel.

“A community member told me the other day that she trusted me; she considered me one of her friends,” Beverly said.

“As the mine’s Community Relations Coordinator, I’ve made strong bonds with people I wouldn’t ordinarily come into contact with. I genuinely care about the community’s wellbeing and it’s rewarding that they recognise it.”

Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home

Darwynn Tucpi has been with OceanaGold’s Didipio Mine for 14 years. Over this time, he’s developed skills and mining experience made possible through commitment and determination, and with the support and encouragement of his work team, friends and family.

This backing has allowed Darywnn to pursue a career in the town he calls home, while establishing a family home to provide stability and a future for his children.

Commencing with the company in 2006 as a field engineer, Darwynn has delivered many civil construction projects for the mine including as a Field Inspector for the 2007 opening of the access road in Didipio – the first major infrastructure in the community’s history that connected Didipio to adjacent barangays and beyond.

Darwynn explains it as one of his proudest achievements. “I was born in Poblacion, Kasibu and married a local Didipian woman, so Didipio is my home. To have been involved in one of the most significant projects in our history was extremely rewarding,” he said.

“I was involved from the beginning including negotiations with landowners, through to development and construction including installation of gabion walls and slope protections after a typhoon struck the region and caused a landslide.”

Over the 12 years that followed, Darwynn’s career progressed to the role of Supervisor for site services including road maintenance and camp accommodation, to Senior Supervisor in 2019 and then Asset Maintenance Supervisor in 2020.

Darwynn said the two-year suspension of operations between 2019 and 2021, during the renewal of the Mine’s Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA), was difficult for the community.

“Not only does the Didipio Mine provide our bread and butter, we have all witnessed first-hand how OceanaGold operates responsibly and we are proud to be the mine’s host community,” he said.

On 14 July 2021, the Philippine Government renewed the Didpio FTAA for an additional 25-year period.

“With operations resuming, the majority of the community has had its prayers answered,” Darwynn said.

“It means more job opportunities, the development projects in the community will resume, and the operation will contribute to the Philippines’ economic recovery and continued management of COVID-19.”

Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home

OceanaGold’s COVID-19 response was implemented again in late August when New Zealand entered into an Alert Level 4 lockdown. With most of the country now back to *Alert Level 2, read about how OceanaGold responded and took care of its workforce and the community.

On 17 August 2021, New Zealand’ Prime Minister announced at an evening press conference that New Zealand would move into a Level 4 lockdown at midnight that night, following a positive community case of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Since the start of the pandemic, New Zealand has had only limited cases of COVID-19 and has taken swift action under a four-level alert system to prevent the spread of the virus and protect New Zealanders’.

“We acted immediately,” said Dan Calderwood, Health, Safety and Environment Manager at OceanaGold’s Waihi Operation, in New Zealand’s North Island.

“With the Delta strain being more contagious and spreading rapidly across the globe, we had prepared for further COVID-19 related lockdowns,” he said. “We had recently undertaken scenario planning as part of the rollout of our COVID-19 Management Plan across the operation,” he said.

“In terms of what the lockdown looked like, specifically for Waihi, we needed to work with local government authorities and immediately ceased operations for two weeks in line with Alert Level 4 requirements.”

Outside Auckland, (which at the time of publishing is operating under Alert Level 3), New Zealand moved to Alert Level 3 on 31 August and Alert Level 2 on 7 September.

Eighteen months into the pandemic and with mining operations located across New Zealand, the United States and the Philippines, and offices in Australia and Canada, OceanaGold’s corporate policy and localised systems are now well embedded.

OceanaGold Health and Safety Manager, Bernie Murphy, said the company needed to ensure its operations and associated human resources remained flexible and adaptable.

“As part of this, communication with our employees is key, especially at the start of a lockdown period,” Bernie said.

“We need to be clear around who can and who can’t work remotely, which takes into consideration the type, nature and location of roles, and we need to provide comfort and security around wages, government subsidies and other entitlements,” she said.

“We all understand and can appreciate the impacts that lockdowns can have on health and wellbeing, and as a responsible miner we have a duty of care to make sure our employees, contractors and the broader community are safe. That includes providing support services to those who need it.”

OceanaGold’s COVID-19 response strategy is focused on prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. The management measures fall into three key areas:

  • Minimise the risk of employees’ contracting or spreading COVID-19 at work or during transit to or from work
  • Have a well-informed workforce that can self-manage to reduce exposure risks to themselves and their families
  • Develop specific and stringent operational continuity plans that reflect the specific requirements at each of our offices and operations and prevent our workplaces from becoming a potential source of transmission.

Key to implementation is an awareness of, and engagement with, regulatory agencies in each of its operational jurisdictions. OceanaGold also subscribes to the advice of the World Health Organisation and is consistently reviewing industry best practice to assess opportunities to reduce exposure to the virus.


In early 2021, with global vaccination programs commencing, OceanaGold released its COVID-19 Vaccination Statement of Position, outlining a commitment to support equitable global distribution of vaccines in line with jurisdictional strategies, programs and goals.

To achieve this OceanaGold has commenced planning for a workplace program to facilitate and support the uptake of vaccinations. In doing so, the company supports local, regional and national vaccination strategies and timelines.


*At the time of publishing, Auckland was at Alert level 3 with the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 2.

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

OceanaGold takes a proactive approach to working through concerns, complaints and grievances to foster a greater understanding of and connection with the community.

There is perhaps no one better suited to the role of Community Liaison Officer than Donna Fisher. Donna has lived in the Waihi region for 45 years and has spent 26 of those working at the Waihi Operation. For the last 19 years, she has worked as the Community Liaison Officer, so to say she knows Waihi quite well (the town, people and mine) is an understatement.

“I live and breathe it. It doesn’t matter where I am in town – the doctor, hairdresser or the supermarket – a member of the community will always ask me about what’s happening at the mine,” Donna said.

“But I don’t mind. At a human level, all people really want is someone to talk to, and I’m a good listener,” she said. “The feedback – while not always positive – is always welcome and by contacting me, people know action will be taken.”

Donna’s statement characterises OceanaGold’s approach to concerns, complaints and grievances – even when feedback comes through as criticism, or is a complaint about unavoidable operational impacts, the information is powerful.

Social Performance Advisor, Danielle Crawford, is part of the company’s External Affairs and Social Performance team that develops and manages responsible mining policy and process. She says the company’s operational community engagement teams provide an important conduit for identifying, reporting, and responding to concerns, complaints and grievances.

“Complaints aren’t received negatively, rather they are an opportunity to engage, and to enhance our control mechanisms, which can often lead to operational improvements,” Danielle said.

“It shows that people trust us to deal with issues, which we do with very embedded processes that are required of us both legislatively, and across the industry as a responsible miner.”

OceanaGold’s Complaints and Grievance Mechanism Standard, implemented in 2019, provides a framework for the timely and adequate resolution of concerns, complaints, and grievances relating to operations and projects, with a focus on preventative management.

The Standard is governed by the External Affairs and Social Performance Manual and is subject to biennial review. This forms part of OceanaGold’s commitment to meeting the World Gold Council’s Responsible Gold Mining Principles (Principle 2.5), which states: We will establish fair, accessible, effective and timely mechanisms through which complaints and grievances related to our activities can be raised and resolved and remedies implemented. Those raising such grievances in good faith will not face discrimination or retaliation as a result of raising their concerns.

Actions resulting from the recent review will be implemented by the end of 2021. These include establishing designated community hotlines at the Macraes Operation in New Zealand and the Haile Gold Mine in the United States.

For the company’s operations at the “mining towns” of Waihi in New Zealand and Didipio in the Philippines, immediate neighbours and the broader community are well versed in mining activities through targeted engagement and communication. Community hotlines are already established at these operations, but the review found opportunities to improve internal triage systems to ensure complaints and grievances are resolved more quickly.

Back on site at Waihi, it’s Donna’s experience at resolving issues and building relationships with the community that has extended the company’s duty of care.

“At a training course many years ago, I heard the phrase, ‘A complaint is a gift’ and I take that mantra to work with me every day,” she said.

“I have an open-door approach and by taking the time to stop and chat, I’ve learnt so much about my community. Like, who might need help with firewood over winter, or who might be feeling especially lonely during lockdown.

“It’s about taking the bad with the good and I try to help where I can and hopefully make a difference.”

OceanaGold recognises the importance of creating and running effective operational level grievance mechanisms to:

  • Help remediate harm for which OceanaGold identifies it has caused or contributed to
  • To act as an early warning system to prevent escalation and potential outbreak of conflicts
  • To provide critical information for broader human rights due diligence processes.

OceanaGold is committed to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – the fundamental instrument for preventing and addressing risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity – which sets expectations around remediation and participation in effective grievance mechanisms.

OceanaGold is also a member of the United Nations Global Compact where it commits to respect human rights.

Find out more at https://oceanagold.com/sustainability/social-performance/our-approach/

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

2021 saw OceanaGold release its first Modern Slavery statement to address how the company will assess and monitor its exposure to modern slavery risks. It forms part of the approach to human rights as the company works toward implementing all 10 of the World Gold Council’s Responsible Gold Mining Principles by 2022.

The latest Global Slavery Index, published in 2018, showed there were 40.3 million people living in modern slavery in 2016, 71 per cent of them women and girls. And closer to home, the International Labour Organisation and Australian anti-slavery organisation, Walk Free, estimates there are 15,000 people being kept in slave-like conditions in Australia.*

“Sadly, modern slavery is a challenge that exists globally,” OceanaGold’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Liang Tang, said. “As a responsible multinational mining company, we want to make sure we’re taking the right approach, so we are not causing or contributing to modern slavery.”

In 2018, Australia passed the Modern Slavery Act 2018, which requires entities that have an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and actions to address those risks.

As a Reporting Entity under the Act, OceanaGold is required to prepare a statement that outlines the risks of modern slavery practices in its operations and supply chains, and those of any entities it owns or controls, for each financial year.

In June 2021, OceanaGold released its first Modern Slavery Statement to report on the work undertaken in 2020. This included reviewing its tier one supply chain and assessing suppliers’ inherent risks on a low-to-high scale.

“Modern slavery exploits vulnerable people and abuses their basic human rights,” Liang said. “It’s a complex issue and not necessarily one that’s easy to identify.”

“Addressing potential modern slavery risks is complex and we are in the early stages of our work. At OceanaGold knowledge is one of our values and our approach to modern slavery risk and our annual Modern Slavery Statements will focus on continuous improvement.”

The approach is backed by the OceanaGold Board of Directors and Executive Committee who are committed to developing a framework that will help the company better understand potential modern slavery risks and guide its response.

“Earning the right to operate long into the future means understanding our broader societal impacts and working closely with suppliers, communities, governments and global organisations to maintain our high standards and continue to enhance our practices over time.”

“We look forward to sharing our progress in our future statements.”

*Source: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australia-s-modern-slaves-are-a-real-mix-and-they-are-suffering-in-silence

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

Geology underpins the development of resource estimates, and making predictions is all in a day’s work for geologists. But it’s the collaborative effort across multiple disciplines at OceanaGold that makes a project evaluation successful.

When describing what it’s like to work as a geologist for multinational gold miner OceanaGold, Chief Geologist Jon Moore says there is a real sense of achievement as projects develop into operating mines.

“Much of what we do is about combining geological observations from rock exposure and drill core with geochemical assays* to produce statistical estimates,” he said. “We need statistics because we typically only assay three or four teaspoons-worth of sample for each Olympic swimming pool-sized volume of rock. And those teaspoons might only have one or two parts per million of gold in them.”

“Evaluating a new project is a team effort – geologists, engineers, metallurgists, environmental scientists, safety, legal and community specialists to determine the risks, value and opportunities.”

“There’s a huge responsibility that comes with that.”

And with 25 years’ experience at OceanaGold, Jon has been involved in much of the company’s growth and success, from its original home at Macraes in New Zealand’s South Island, to its expansion in-country, and then internationally to operations in the Philippines and the United States.

“The company started in 1990 as an open pit operation at Macraes and by 2008 had successfully added the Frasers Underground at that operation, and the Globe Progress Mine at Reefton in New Zealand’s South Island,” he said.

“During that period, OceanaGold built technical capacity and team culture, positioning us to develop Didipio.”

The Didipio Mine in the Philippines provided a step change in terms of challenges: operating internationally, learning to operate in another culture and tropical climate, building road access and infrastructure in a remote location, becoming a first-time copper producer, and listing under the TSX regulatory framework.

“Initially, the geological challenges were to rebuild the gold-copper estimate from first principles, starting with the validation of existing geological and geochemical data,” he said.

“Much of the data was traced back to boxes of dust-laden electronic drives and hard copy reports accumulated over the years. It was fascinating work, and the project owes much of its success to the dedication of previous workers.”

Jon said once mining commenced, the geology team’s focus was no longer solely on the mining of ore with work continuing across all stages of a mine’s development.

“Before we commit to a project, we look at the quantity and quality of the orebody, we assess the opportunities for exploration success and growth as well as any environmental and other considerations,” he said.

“Once the operation is successfully commissioned, we transition to operational support, mentoring and governance functions. More recently the focus has been on building common systems across our operations.”

With operations across three continents, OceanaGold’s mines comprise remarkably diverse geology contexts which require different approaches to estimation and mining, but the underlying processes are the same.

“The deposits range from narrow sub-vertical gold-silver vein deposits at Waihi, to moderately-dipping metasediment-hosted gold-silver mineralisation at Macraes and Haile, through to the sub-vertical gold-copper porphyry orebody at Didipio,” Jon said.

“Each brings their own challenges during the technical study and project development phases.”

Jon said there was significant growth potential at all OceanaGold operations with the Waihi Operation a great example of the ‘long game’ in the mining industry.

He said OceanaGold acquired the mine in 2015, seeing large growth potential in the Martha deposit as well as in the district in general. The company received consent to develop the Martha Underground in early 2019, which will extend the life of the Waihi mine by many years.

“The extensive mining history at Waihi, spanning approximately 140 years, not only reflects a world-class gold endowment, but also an evolved and highly skilled geology and mining culture,” he said.”

“Historical mine sections and plans allowed the Waihi geology team to reconstruct the architecture of the entire Waihi Mine vein system.”

“A three-dimensional block model was created which provided the framework for conceptual mine planning as well as the basis for staged infill core drilling to incrementally improve our confidence in the geology and mineralisation and prove up resources and reserves.

“Six years on, the Waihi development pipeline speaks for itself.”

In 2021, with the Martha Underground mine now in production OceanaGold has commenced a process to extend the life of mining through the development of the Waihi District including the proposed Waihi North and Martha Open Pit Projects.

*An assay is a process of analyzing a substance to determine its concentration, composition or quality, typically used in the mining industry to refer to tests of mineralisation or minerals.

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

At OceanaGold, we’re committed to the full mining lifecycle, including mine closure, full environmental restoration and relinquishment to landowners. Extending beyond just the physical environment, we work with host communities and other stakeholders to create a positive legacy and support shared values and opportunities in the communities that host our operations.

So, when our Globe Progress Mine – just outside Reefton in New Zealand’s South Island – closed and became the Reefton Restoration Project, we continued supporting community initiatives that aligned with community priorities.

In 2019, we partnered with the Buller District Council to fund a Socio-Economic Development Officer (SEDO) position for three years. The position was established to focus on community funding, partnerships and projects that extend economic diversification activities in Reefton.

The role was awarded to Reefton local, Rachel Fifield, who has since worked with the town’s businesses and community organisations to establish a number of development initiatives.

OceanaGold General Manager for Projects, David Bickerton, said Rachel’s local knowledge and broad community experience have proved invaluable in promoting and helping develop a range of initiatives.

“Being in the SEDO role, Rachel has been able to provide advice and assistance to a number of local groups seeking funding and organising events. Rachel has also helped attract new business into town, locals into employment, and has been the driving force behind a number a town beautification and enhancement projects,” David said.

“We’re pleased to be able to support the SEDO role and proud of the results Rachel has been able to achieve for the Reefton community,” he said.

Local groups have appreciated what Rachel has been able to achieve. Here’s some feedback from a few of the organisations Rachel has worked with in Reefton.

Pat Russell, from the Blacks Point Museum, said the museum has appreciated Rachel’s ideas and assistance with funding applications.

“Rachel has provided information and assistance which allowed us to apply for funding we desperately needed and would not otherwise have known about or have been confident applying for.  We have been successful with four applications and have more pending. Rachel is inspirational and a powerhouse of knowledge. When we were struggling to stay open, she worked with us to plan for the future, with lots of new ideas,” Pat said.

Paul Densem, from PD Plastering & Painting, said Rachel connected him to the right agencies when he was looking for staff and helped him with funding applications.

“I could keep doing my job while she worked for me. I couldn’t have done this on my own,” Paul said.

Zie Rosanowski, from the Reefton Netball Club, said Rachel approached them to let them know there was financial assistance available for club transport expenses through the Rural Travel Fund.

“I didn’t know this fund existed, but with Rachel’s help we have funding to support our members participate in regular local sporting competitions,” Zie said.

Richard Negus, from Fusion Events who organise the Resilience Ultramarathon, said Rachel put them in touch with local business owners and key stakeholders who are supporting the event, which will take place in Reefton in August.

“Rachel and the support we’ve received from Reefton has been instrumental in getting the event off the ground and they continue to support us,” Richard said.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

This case study was originally published by Beca at https://www.beca.com/what-we-do/projects/industrial/oceana-gold-energy-transition-acceleration-study

New Zealand’s largest gold producer OceanaGold are determined to reduce emissions at their Macraes mine in Central Otago. And Beca are right beside them, developing an Energy Transition Acceleration study that provides a pathway to a greener future.

Producing over 172,000 oz of gold per annum and employing more than 600 people, the Macraes Operation north of Dunedin is New Zealand’s largest and a key operational asset in OceanaGold’s broader portfolio.

As participants in the New Zealand government’s ETA (Energy Transition Accelerator) program, OceanaGold are focussed on reducing their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) at their Macraes site to not only improve the sustainability of their product, but also reduce their energy costs.

That’s where Beca entered the picture. As programme partners with the ETA, our Industrial Sustainability and Engineering teams worked closely with OceanaGold management to develop an Energy Transition Accelerator Study that identified a practical emissions reduction pathway for their business.

Key opportunities for reducing their GHG emissions include harnessing:

  • Waste heat recovery
  • Fuel switching
  • Solar lighting towers
  • Electric elution hot water heating
  • Battery-powered electric trucks (to transport ore around the mine), and
  • Electrification of excavators

Taken together, these practical abatement measures can reduce emissions from the Macraes goldmine by a substantial 37%, whilst additional measures – such as the use of renewable energy sources on site could increase this figure to 59%.

With this study now complete, Beca are ready to support OceanaGold in implementing the identified recommendations over coming years – with some of these options also applicable to their Waihi mine on the North Island.

Suddenly, the future is looking golden!

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

Our operations employ experts and specialised equipment to provide rescue and safety services at our mines. Our teams also assist local emergency and rescue teams. To be a member of an OceanaGold Mines and Rescue Emergency Response Team, each team member is required to maintain their skills and physical fitness.

OceanaGold’s highly skilled Mines Rescue and Emergency Response Teams manage all emergency response equipment and implement the operational Emergency Response Program at each of our operations.

The teams are trained and certified in all areas of incident response including fire, underground search and rescue, vertical rope rescue, vehicle extraction, pre-hospital emergency care, hazardous material response and medical and accident response. They facilitate emergency response training onsite, and within host and adjacent communities as required or requested.

As part of our Waihi Operation’s commitment to the community, we have established strong relationships with local emergency services to assist with community events such as rope rescues, assisting at traffic accidents, and providing additional help to the local Coast Guard.

“Regular exercises and liaison with these groups has broadened the team’s experience and also allowed the community emergency response units to be aware of the equipment and skills the Mines Rescue Team has to offer,” said Waihi Operation Emergency Response Coordinator Jed Moriarty.

To ensure team members maintain strong physical fitness to assist in these events, each year they are required to complete a Physical Competency Test (PCT). At our Waihi Operation, this involves completing a series of tasks within a one-hour period while wearing an open circuit breathing apparatus. The course, which must be completed twice by each team member within one hour, includes weight-bearing exercises involving up walking up steep inclines, over sets of stairs, filling a drum with wet sand and crawling through confined tunnels. Our Macraes Operation team members undergo a similar program called a ‘Functional Capacity Test’.

“The goal is to record a low heart rate at the completion of the course, and after a 10-minutes rest, bring their heart rate down to as close to their resting heart rate as possible,” Jed said.

Each year our Mines Rescue Teams from Waihi and Macraes participate in the Leukaemia Foundation’s Sky Tower Stair Challenge to raise funds for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.

This event sees firefighters and emergency rescue teams from throughout New Zealand gather in Auckland in full rescue equipment and take on the Sky Tower Stair Challenge – 328 metres, 1103 steps, 51 flights of stairs to the top of the Sky Tower. In 2021 the teams raised over NZ$41,000 to support Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.

The participants are the first to admit the climb is not for the faint hearted but point out they already have a good level of fitness to build on. They say the real challenge is fundraising, but they have been generously supported by the company, businesses and individuals in the past.

Macraes Emergency Response Coordinator  Steve Renton said: “Nothing can really prepare you for what you are going to encounter on the day, and having done it about six times now, it’s just a case of start at the bottom and keep on going till you get to the top.”

At our Haile Operation, the focus for our Underground Rescue Team has been preparing for underground mining and the emergency response challenges this presents, with equipment being purchased and a new training regime being implemented.

Trainer Rusty Duncan said there were strict regulations in place for both equipment and training. “You need 20 hours of BG4 training, 50 hours of medical training, 50 hours of HAZMAT and 50 hours of confined space training and then there’s rope rescue training on top of that,” he said.

To assist with this, the team used three shipping containers and large tubing to build an underground environment that closely simulated an underground emergency situation.

Rusty said the team’s goal had always been to do as much training in house as possible.

“I want other Mine Rescue teams to look at us and see our training facility and think it’s something they would want to come to,” he said.

As the largest gold mining operation on the east coast of the United States, Haile’s Underground Rescue Team will be the only gold mining rescue team in the area.

Trainer Genalee Jones, who joined the Haile team with prior underground experience, says the team is more than up for the challenge.

“I’ve seen a lot of mine rescue teams. And I’ve seen a lot of competition teams. From day one, this is the best group I’ve seen. We’re not a bunch of co-workers. We’re family.”

Brand new challenges await, but the group is eager to keep going and proud to look back at how far the journey has taken them.

“I’m really looking forward to this. We’re in this together and we’re going to support each other just like families do,” Genalee said.

Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
Macraes launches self-guided modern and historic mining tour
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
OceanaGold features in new World Gold Council documentary
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry

OceanaGold has commenced an organisational journey – enhancing the management of tailings storage facilities in alignment with the requirements of the new Global Industry Standard for Tailings Management (GISTM).

In the wake of the 2019 catastrophic dam collapse of the Corrego de Deijao mine in Brumidinho, Brazil – a human and environmental tragedy – concerned investors, environmental leaders and the mining industry took action.

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) co-convened the Global Tailings Review to establish an international standard that provides a framework for the safer management of tailings storage facilities (TSFs). It resulted in the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management, which was released in August last year.

OceanaGold recognises that tailings management and the structural integrity of its TSFs are critical to community safety and environmental protection.

“Safe, sustainable tailings management is just as critical to our business as extracting gold,” said Greg Scanlan, OceanaGold’s Head of Health, Safety and Environment.

“And we have just as big an obligation to protect our community and environment as we do our own people,” he said.

“TSFs are part and parcel of the gold mining industry – it’s our responsibility to ensure we manage them safely and continually refine our processes to innovate and support industry best-practice.”

OceanaGold released a TSF Statement of Position in 2019, which commits the company to designing, constructing and managing TSFs in compliance with all host country regulations, and where applicable, any additional requirements consistent with its TSF management standards and framework. The company also ruled out constructing any new upstream tailings storage facilities.

In 2020, the company strengthened its focus on safe tailings storage by forming a Tailings Governance Committee. The Committee meets regularly to ensure a robust governance and review process occurs for every TSF across the company’s global operations and includes the use of external third-party technical expertise.

In June 2021, the company released an updated TSF Statement of Position specifically committing to meeting the requirements of the GISTM. Recognising the critical importance of making big strides towards meeting the new global industry standards, the company is implementing a new accountability and governance framework to ensure there is a clear separation between operations and governance functions. This includes appointing “accountable executives” who also chair the Tailings Governance Committee. The President and CEO is an active supporter and member of this committee.

Key areas of focus for the committee are:

  • Separate internal TSF governance functions from operational functions
  • Report independently and directly to the company Board of Directors on TSF operational performance and governance processes
  • Apply innovation and new technology to minimise risks of TSF failure
  • Ensure meaningfully engagement with affected parties and fully assess social, economic and environmental impacts, integrating feedback, concerns and mitigations into TSF design and management.

OceanaGold places a strong focus on all stages of the TSF lifecycle from design, construction management and closure.

“It’s not good enough to be ‘good enough. We need to be diligent and thorough to ensure the safety of our people and communities and to support and encourage the whole mining industry to adopt standards and work practices that prevent any recurrence of catastrophic structural failures,” Greg said.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

After assessing its human rights risk exposure in 2019, the Haile Gold Mine is implementing an action plan that will strengthen measures to safeguard employees and stakeholders from human rights impacts.

A Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) undertaken at the Haile Gold Mine in the United States has found a number of opportunities to strengthen the operation’s human rights risk mitigation measures.

In keeping with its Human Rights Policy, each of OceanaGold’s operations are required to conduct a HRIA to identify how their activities could potentially cause, contribute or are directly linked to a breach of human rights. The Policy reflects the requirements of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN Declaration of Human Rights and other international frameworks.

Haile Gold Mine External Affairs & Social Performance Manager, Kevin Cook, said the company’s value of knowledge was fundamental to culture and organisational growth.

“At Haile, we assessed our performance against the full set of internationally recognised human rights benchmarks,” Kevin said.

“Across OceanaGold each operation will conduct HRIAs every two years, or more regularly if a material change occurs, to assess human rights risks and address any gaps in our policies, processes and practices. This determines the most salient human rights risks for our employees, contractors, supply chain workers and communities,” he said.

“Following our assessment at the Haile Gold Mine, we found we have a robust approach to human rights risks, however there were gaps in our mitigation measures that provided an opportunity to strengthen our management systems including improving human rights training for our employees.”

The assessment was conducted with the assistance of independent human rights experts, Article One. The process included a desktop review of documentation, interviews and focus groups with rightsholders and stakeholders including OceanaGold and vendor employees, management, contractors, community groups, government agencies and civil society.

“With an extensive 2021 capital works program, including the development of the Haile Underground, it is incredibly important we understand and mitigate any human rights risks that have the potential to cause harm to our operation or the people that work with us,” Kevin said.

Social Performance Advisor, Danielle Crawford said Human rights risks were mapped highlighting the causal relationship between the company and the risks to people, and then they are prioritised based on their actual or potential impact. Where HRIAs identify any human rights risks, an action plan is developed to either eliminate or mitigate those risks.

“The action plans are monitored and reported to OceanaGold’s Executive Committee as they form part of our global External Affairs and Social Performance key performance indicators,” Danielle said.

The Haile HRIA Action Plan includes remediating actions such as enhancing family benefits for employees, engaging staff in 360 feedback processes, updating policies around the hiring of security personnel, and formalising relationships with local law enforcement agencies as part of regular security risk assessments.

The Haile Gold Mine will also ensure that all contracted workers operate under contracts with embedded human rights expectations and will strengthen its human rights due diligence processes when hiring contractors and suppliers.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

OceanaGold has raised the bar to further-protect the long-term health and wellbeing of its employees.   

OceanaGold has strengthened its focus on occupational health monitoring, which involves routinely monitoring and managing employees’ potential exposure to harmful workplace environments, including airborne and biological contaminants generated by mining practices – such as inhalable dust, respirable silica and diesel particulate matter as well as physical mining conditions such as noise and vibration.

The monitoring program is part of a three-year Occupational Hygiene Management Plan, developed in 2020, after a review and update of the company’s Occupational Exposure Management Guideline.

Following best practice global guidelines, each operation conducted a risk review of occupational hygiene exposure using an independent Certified Occupational Hygienist. The review identified the opportunities to make the data collection and management process more robust by collecting additional data and changing the frequency of monitoring at each site.

Head of Health, Safety & Environment, Greg Scanlan, said the occupational hygiene exposure review highlighted opportunities to engage additional resources and to apply a common framework and Standard across its global operations.

“Ensuring all staff – no matter their location – have access to the same understanding of exposure risks and the same level of controls to protect their long-term health is our goal,” Greg said.

“We have employed dedicated Occupational Hygiene Technicians across our operations in New Zealand and the United States, allowing each operation to better-monitor and understand potential health risks,” he said.

The monitoring program involves looking at biological stressors (bacteria, virus, fungi, and mould, and blood-borne pathogens), chemical stressors (acids, bases, heavy metals, solvents, particulates, vapours, fumes), and physical stressors (noise, heat, cold, vibration).

Through targeted and statistically valid workplace exposure monitoring and the implementation of high order controls (longer-term solutions), the company can more effectively manage exposures to our workforce and remove potential affects to their long-term health.

“In the past, we have undertaken extensive sampling, but now we have a more comprehensive set of baseline data to help understand the exposure profiles of workers at each operation,” Greg said.

“By always improving the way we monitor employee health, we are not only ensuring we meet regulatory obligations, we are investing in the long-term health and wellbeing of our employees,” he said.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

A 10-year career in community relations at OceanaGold’s Didipio Mine in the Philippines has turned into the operational role that local Didipian, Reynaldo Pugong Jr, has always dreamed of.

Having just graduated from university with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and living and working in Manila, Reynaldo Pugong Jr (known as Rey) received an urgent call from his mother telling him to come home to the barangay (village) where he was born – Didipio.

Thankfully, it wasn’t an emergency. Rey’s mum wanted him home because OceanaGold had started a process to re-open the Didipio Mine, which it acquired in 2006 through a merger with Climax Mining Ltd.

The company was recruiting a Community Relations Assistant to engage with the local community as part of the mine design and construction process, and being a local Didipian, Rey’s mum thought he would be the perfect candidate. She was right.

“It was an opportunity too good to refuse – working with a global miner in my hometown. Of course, I applied, and I was lucky enough to succeed,” Rey said.

And over the last 10 years, succeed is what Rey has done. Through learning on the job opportunities and close mentorship from his senior peers, Rey’s career has forged ahead at Didipio.

Rey was first was promoted in 2013 to a more senior role in the Community Relations Team and over the five years that followed, he contributed to developing and delivering the region’s first ever local capacity building program which included providing more than 10,000 hours of pre-employment training each year across the region. In the process, Rey developed invaluable and life-long relationships with residents in the host community of Didipio and in adjacent barangays.

“At OceanaGold, for those directly affected communities and stakeholders – those who are most impacted by our operations – we seek to obtain and sustain a broad base of support,” Rey said.

“Relationships take time to foster and I’m most proud of the sustained, mutual effort between our team and the broader community, including the local government, to get the Didipio Mine fully operational and producing by 2013.”

Marjorie Idio, Communications and External Affairs Superintendent and one of Rey’s mentors, agreed: “Rey understands Didipio in ways only a local can. His energy, determination, and passion for improving people’s lives was channelled into our programs that provided educational opportunities and built local capacity that otherwise wouldn’t have happened in this agricultural landscape,” she said.

“Rey is a team player and action-oriented, qualities we value at OceanaGold. So, while Rey worked to build the skills of people in the community, we worked with Rey on building his career.”

In 2017, Rey’s career path verged a little to the left as he started to explore the idea of moving into an operational role. With no technical experience, the company supported his career aspirations and developed him into an Operator at its paste backfill plant – the first of its kind in the Philippines.

Rey’s competence in the paste plant group was achieved though hands-on training, self-development, and close mentoring by his group leaders. Again, Rey’s steadfast determination and hard work paid off when he was promoted in 2018 to Paste Plant Supervisor.

Didipio’s People, Culture and Technology Manager, Vanessa Aliaga, said Rey’s valuable community relationships would greatly benefit his new operational role – and the company more broadly – as he was trained to consider the mine’s potential impacts, mitigations and most importantly, its legacy.

“The awareness and understanding gained from first-hand experience living and working in the community is invaluable when making operational decisions,” Vanessa said.

Now raising a family of his own in Didipio, Rey is determined to continue building leadership skills to foster his career growth at OceanaGold.

“Not long ago, through funding from OceanaGold, we supported the education of the first local mining engineer and the first geologist to be born right here in Didipio,” Rey said.

“If the mine continues operating here, the opportunities available to my children will be endless – as a father and a proud Didipian, that’s all I could ask for.”

Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home

Responsible environmental management is about more than just land, air and water. Whether it’s preserving artifacts uncovered on the mine site, relocating an old schoolhouse, restoring a historical train depot, or protecting the resting place of the community’s loved ones, the Haile Gold Mine is focused on being good stewards of the area’s cultural resources.

The team at the Haile Gold Mine have been working with cultural resource management firm, R.S. Webb and Associates, who have recently completed archaeological work at the site and discovered many interesting archaeological pieces.

Senior Archaeologist Ken Styer said a person would have to have a unique passion for artifacts to appreciate the kind of items found, but that the historical significance was great. The objects paint a picture of the earliest inhabitants of the area and their activities.

“What many commonly call ‘arrowheads’ are more appropriately called projectile points in the archaeological world. Not everything that looks like an arrowhead was used on the end of a spear,” Styer said.

“Most of these are multi-purpose tools for a cutting edge or a dart or spearpoint. Some are more of your scraper tools,” he said.

Arch site 642 at Haile is a large area that presented physical integrity (has not been disturbed) during early testing. According to Styer, this means initial phases of shovel testing indicated that there were enough artifact clusters to be able to collect usable data.

The items are estimated to be nearly 6,000 years old and feature mostly Morrow Mountain projectile points. Archaeologists use various terms to establish a technology timeline for projectile points. Morrow Mountain points are from the Middle Archaic period, estimated to be between 3,000 and 6,000 years old.

“The vast majority of everything we get is lithic (stone) tools or lithic tool related. Ceramics are in the upper levels [of the timeline] about 3,000 years later,” Styer said.

The Woodland period of the timeline, which began about 1,000 years ago, is the first known appearance of the various pottery items Styer refers to.

The Haile Gold Mine contracts R.S. Webb and Associates when digging is planned for previously undisturbed portions of the site. To protect the site’s cultural resources, the firm comes in and excavates all significant and potentially datable items. Once their work is complete, the mine proceeds with clearing the area.

“Archaeological excavation methods are very labor intensive. We come out and do a survey, then line up every 30 meters and dig a hole and screen the dirt. You move down the line every 100 feet,” Styer said.

The standard field excavation procedure calls for the removal of dirt in unit levels at 10-centimeter increments. Using a shovel, dirt is carefully removed from each level and placed into a 2×3 screen box, which pivots on one leg. The box is shaken forcefully back and forth to screen the loose soil through the mesh. Anything remaining on the screen might be something worth getting excited over.

Photos: Removing dirt in a standard archeological procedure that involves excavating at 10-centimeter increment and sifting it in a screen box to locate solid objects.

“I’m liking these sites. I’ve worked up in the sandhills for a long time, and you find a lot of sites but it’s hard to find any with physical integrity. Things just filter on through. Finding intact deposits is very exciting,” Styer said.

The excavation process doesn’t always have to start from scratch. The area is full of other known sites where stories of discovered arrowheads and the artifacts themselves are passed down from generation to generation. When this is the case, less shovel testing is needed as the group can more easily pinpoint the location of artifacts.

At the completion of excavation, Styer and his team return to their lab in Georgia to begin analysis.

The goal is to more accurately identify the period using the radiocarbon dating method and quantify the findings. Broken pieces of cooking stone were some of the more interesting findings during the recent dig. According to Styer, the stone would have been placed on top of a fire to heat up the food.

“I have never seen one out of sandstone. Usually, what you’ll get is steatite, which is soapstone, that you’ll get in the Piedmont. It’s definitely a little bit exciting,” Styer said.

Field analysis of the stone indicated that it had been penetrated at the center, which Styer said could have been to help facilitate carrying it around.

The group also discovered chunkey stones on the property. These disc-shaped stones were used in Native American cultures as a game with a lot potentially on the line. The stone is first rolled across the ground and participants threw spears at the stone to see who could get closest. Anything from food and blankets to a participant’s entire home could be at stake.

Evidence of this type of activity helps determine the type of inhabitants in the area. Styer said as far back as the Haile artifacts go, it’s impossible to associate with any known tribes.

“The North American continent was inhabited 14,000 years ago by people chasing mastodons and bison. They were all strict hunter gatherers. At a mobile camp, you won’t get cooking stones,” Styer said.

“This site is more the tail end of hunter gatherers. Here, they are spending a little bit of time,” he said.

Upon completion of all artifact analysis, items are returned to the Haile Gold Mine Depot and are on display for all the community to enjoy.

Photo: Ken Styer of R.S. Webb and Associates displays some of the projectile points found at the mine during recent archeological excavations.

Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
Mining is New Zealand’s most productive industry
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
OceanaGold’s contribution to sustainable development at Waihi
The Biggest Catch
The Biggest Catch

OceanaGold’s Waihi Operation has undertaken a critical workplace design assessment to deliver better wellbeing and workplace engagement outcomes for its female employees, with the results to be implemented across the company’s global operations.

With low turnover and a predominantly male underground workforce, the management team at OceanaGold’s Waihi Operation, in New Zealand’s North Island, has commenced a journey to increase female participation and promote a more inclusive work environment.

“There is a really strong desire by the whole team – and more broadly across OceanaGold – to increase diversity, equity and inclusion across our workplaces, especially in roles traditionally perceived to be ‘male only’, such as underground operations,” said OceanaGold’s New Zealand People and Culture Manager, Brigid Quinn.

“What we know is that modern mining workplaces are based on male centred design – that’s not a criticism of OceanaGold or any other mining company – it’s simply because, in the past, predominantly only males were employed for such labour-intensive work and these roles attracted males more than females,” she said.

“And quite possibly, that’s why there’s a strong perception in our community – which makes up most of our workforce – that underground roles are only suitable for men.”

“We‘ve set out to change that perception, but first, we need to better understand how our environment can adapt to ensure we attract and retain growing numbers of females in operational roles so they feel at ease with their workplace environment and conditions.”

The Waihi team engaged female inclusion expert and Director at Shesfreetobe, Kristy Christensen, to undertake a Workplace Design Assessment called ‘A Day in Her Life.’

The assessment reviewed both the surface and underground layouts at Waihi (including job design, equipment design and facilities), PPE (personal protective equipment) provisions and site policies against the health, safety and wellbeing needs of female employees.

Kristy confirmed our experience; the small female talent pool in the New Zealand mining industry made it highly competitive, and that OceanaGold needed to invest in ways to make the company, and industry, a more desirable destination for a long-term career.

“In such a traditionally male dominated industry, it’s vital that mining companies support women’s bespoke requirements to ensure they thrive, particularly in underground environments,” Kristy said.

“Female participation is increasing across the sector, and workforce design requires a re-think to ensure businesses recognise and address these needs,” she said.

As an immediate outcome of the assessment, OceanaGold took a closer look at the role of a ‘nipper’ – an entry-level position that supports a jumbo operator. This is important because the career progression from here sees employees advance to a truck driver, service crew, bogger and then a jumbo operator.

Brigid said the role is quite physical in nature, requiring the person to move a range of equipment in support of the jumbo operator, and that could potentially discourage women to apply.

“We have introduced a ‘trainee mine operator’ role, which gives all applicants a 10-week opportunity to work as both a nipper and truck driver,” Brigid said.

“This is an opportunity to provide a thorough overview of underground mine operations and the career pathways each entry-level role offers, and importantly, to lighten the load of the very physical nipper role by adding trucking into the mix,” she said.

While the findings may have challenged traditional thinking, OceanaGold has embraced the recommendations – not just at the Waihi Operation, but globally – and will incrementally implement them in 2021.

Other workplace design changes will be incrementally implemented across the company as part of a strengthened global focus on workplace diversity and inclusion, including:

  • PPE – ensuring a size-inclusive women’s range is readily available (not just offering a men’s range in smaller sizes, for example), offering a maternity range, and changes to harnesses to avoid pressure on the chest
  • Facilities – increasing sanitary provisions in underground environments
  • Flexible work provisions – assessing opportunities to accommodate different roster patterns
  • Policy – introduction of the Fair Employment Policy.

“We hope these changes will help to entice a new generation of women from diverse backgrounds to choose OceanaGold as the destination to grow their career,” Brigid said.

Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Employee testimonial: Grow with us
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
Meet our team – Emily Stephens, Haile Gold Mine
We call Waihi home
We call Waihi home