Thursday, July 30, 2009

OceanaGold may ramp up mining activities in RP

Mining firm OceanaGold Corp. may expand activities of its ongoing exploration of its gold prospect in Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya

The company was able to renew six exploration permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources late in the second quarter.

In a statement, OceanaGold, whose parent company is an Australian firm, said that various exploration activities may begin in the third quarter.

But despite these planned expansion activities, the company said operations remained subdued while the Didipio project is still undergoing care and maintenance.

OceanaGold president Jose Leviste said that some field work and desk-top based exploration activities were initiated under the assumption that a number of exploration permits are likely to be approved in the near-term.

The company said it continues to review its mining plan for Didipio.

About $120 million has been spent for exploration and development of the mine site while some $200 million is needed to finance construction works.

Oceana Gold holds a financial and technical assistance agreement (FTAA) with the Philippine government.

An FTAA is an agreement with the government that allows 100 percent foreign equity in a local mining project. Its mining tenement is located in the municipality of Didipio in Nueva Vizcaya.

The proposed development comprises four years of open mining, followed by at least 11 years of subsequent underground sub-level caving operations, totaling an expected minimum 15 years of processing operations.

The Company holds exploration licenses, license applications, and option agreements in the Surigao Peninsula area of North Eastern Mindanao, including Paco which was granted a tenement, Mayag, Asiga and Manhulayan.

OceanaGold Corp. is a significant Pacific Rim gold producer with projects located in the South Island of New Zealand and in the Philippines. It is listed in the Toronto, Australia and New Zealand Stock Exchange.

OceanaGold has been reported to the Philippine Commission on Human Rights for its injustices and human rights violations committed against local communities and indigenous peoples. The case has been raised to the United Nations' Permanent Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Commission on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Various articles on a fact finding report can be accessed here.

Unjust house demolitions and displacement can be briefly viewed in the video clip below with Oxfam Australia's investigation.

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