OceanaGold announced that it has received resource consents to begin operations at the Martha Underground Project.
The receipt of permits follows the conclusion of the statutory appeal period related to the Martha Underground Project with no appeals filed.
To start mining operations at Martha Underground, OceanaGold has started preparing management plans and detailed mine designs including stope and infrastructure development.
The company expects that at full underground mining rate at Martha Project, the production operations would return to more recent historic levels.
OceanaGold president and CEO Mick Wilkes said: “Receipt of the permits atthe Martha Underground represents a tremendous outcome that will benefit the company, its shareholders, the town of Waihi and New Zealand.
The Waihi operation has had a long, rich history of operating to the highest of environmental and social standards globally while contributing significant socio-economic benefits to Waihi and the country. We are excited to be granted the consents and for the opportunity to continue over 140 years of gold mining history at Waihi.”
The company plans to continue drilling at the Martha Underground during the ramp-up phase, utilizing four diamond rigs from the two underground drill drives located beneath the Martha Open Pit in order to further discover and add resources.
Within the Martha Underground, the company has set an exploration target of five to eight million tons grading four to six grams per ton, based on its studies and exploration at the project.
On 9 August 2018, the Martha Underground hosted a measured and indicated resource of 140,000ounces of gold and an inferred resource of approximately 339,000ounces of gold. This was achieved only on one-third of the planned drilling program.
Wilkes added: “OceanaGold has been proudly operating in New Zealand since 1990 and the Waihi mine has been in operation in its current form since 1988. We have a strong, dedicated and values-driven workforce that are proud Kiwis making a significant positive impact in their respective communities.
“New Zealand is a template for responsible hard rock mining, clearly demonstrated by the success we’ve had at Macraes, Waihi and Reefton gold mines.”