OceanaGold beats 2014 output target

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Australian miner OceanaGold Corp. on Tuesday said it exceeded its 2014 production target on the back of record gold production from its Didipio copper-gold mine in Nueva Vizcaya and a strong performance in New Zealand.

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Mick Wilkes, OGC managing director and chief executive, said that the company produced a total of 307,463 ounces of gold and 25,010 tons of copper from the combined Philippine and New Zealand operations – slightly exceeding the target range of 285,000 to 325,000 ounces of gold and 21,000 to 24,000 tons of copper.

In the fourth quarter of 2014 alone, OceanaGold produced 92,712 ounces of gold, a 38 percent increase from the previous quarter, on account of record quarterly gold production from Didipio and higher production from the New Zealand operations; while the fourth quarter copper production of 6,747 tons was slightly higher than the previous quarter.

In the Philippines, the Didipio Mine exceeded its gold and copper production guidance range with 106,256 ounces of gold and 25,010 tons of copper produced for the full year. To recall, the company originally set a production guidance of 85,000 to 95,000 ounces of gold and 21,000 to 24,000 tons of copper.

Didipio produced a record 34,783 ounces of gold and 6,747 tonnes of copper in the fourth quarter.

“The quarter-on-quarter increase in production was a result of record mill feed of 870,617 tons and higher grades processed,” Wilkes said.

Also in the quarter, the company began constructing a power grid connection which it expects to complete in the third quarter of 2015. Once on grid power, OceanaGold expects to reduce its operating costs at Didipio by $10 million to $12 million per annum.

In New Zealand, the company achieved its consolidated full-year guidance for operations with 201,207 ounces of gold produced. For the fourth quarter, the New Zealand operations produced 57,929 ounces, 41 percent higher than in the previous quarter on account of higher production mainly from Reefton.

For 2015, Wilkes said they expect “very strong results” with higher gold production from both Didipio and New Zealand. The company targets to produce 295,000 to 335,000 ounces of gold this year, while copper production is expected to remain strong with a production range of 21,000 to 23,000 tons.

“We also remain strongly committed to a disciplined approach to identifying and investing in new assets that would complement our existing portfolio and grow shareholder wealth,” he added.

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