AUSTRALIAN miner OceanaGold Corp. announced Wednesday it has received a five-year extension to the period of its mining contract, paving the way to conduct exploration activities in the broader region surrounding Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya, part of the Philippines’ Cagayan Valley in Luzon.
Mick Wilkes, OceanaGold president and CEO, said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has granted the renewal of the company’s Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) in the Philippines exploration permit.
“This is a positive outcome for all stakeholders that will allow the company to expand its exploration program over the broader region around Didipio,” he stressed. “We are now reviewing and prioritizing targets, and expect to provide clarity around the planned exploration programs in the coming weeks.”
OceanaGold holds significant exploration tenements in the Philippines and its FTAA covers approximately 158 kilometers located in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.
Over the past few years, previous geochemical sampling has identified several gold and copper soil anomalies in close proximity to the Didipio operation.
Meanwhile, Wilkes also announced a material increase in mineral resources, which are mainly attributable to the acquisitions completed last year that brought the Haile and Waihi gold mines into the company’s portfolio of high quality assets.
“The company already has a significant mineral endowment and, through an extensive exploration program, we are seeking to significantly extend that endowment from our highly prospective exploration tenements in New Zealand, the Philippines and the United States,” he said. JAMES GALVEZ