KASIBU, Nueva Vizcaya: Australian OceanaGold Corp. is expecting more than 1,500 jobs will be generated as Malacañang renewed the license of its Didipio Mine Gold and Copper Project in this upland municipality.

In his LinkedIn page, Sam Pazuki, OceanaGold Corp. senior vice president for strategy and corporate development, said the renewal of their company's mining contract in the Philippines allows them to restart operations in Didipio village here.

On July 14, OceanaGold Corp. announced the government has renewed its Didipio Mine Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) for an additional 25 years beginning June 19, 2019.

The initial 25-year FTAA took effect on June 20, 1994 and expired on June 20, 2019, a year after OceanaGold Philippines Inc. lodged its renewal application.

An FTAA is a permit issued to a multinational company sharing technology and resources to explore and extract minerals in the Philippines.

"This is a tremendous outcome for so many stakeholders including the 1,500 Filipinos who can again be gainfully employed and lead one of the most environmentally and socially responsible mining operations globally," Pazuki said.

He noted this operation will again be a major socio-economic contributor to local economies that have been devastated by the pandemic.

In a statement, OceanaGold Corp. said the renewed FTAA reflects similar financial terms and conditions while providing additional benefits to the regional communities and provinces hosting the operation.

The long-delayed renewal of its FTAA led to the layoff of 80 percent of its workforce, or more than 620 workers, in the suspended mining operations in the Didipio Mine when its FTAA expired in 2019.

This excludes thousands of workers in different business and service sectors that were indirectly created by the advent of large-scale mining operations in the province, particularly that of OceanaGold.