OceanaGold's exploration strategy is to focus on further extensions to mine life in New Zealand in particular the historic gold mining district in Reefton and near mine exploration potential in the northern Philippines.
OceanaGold invested US$11 million in exploration across its New Zealand operations in 2011 with a focus on further extensions to mine life and the generation of drill targets from greenfield prospects across its mining tenements. A similar amount is budgeted for exploration activities at the Company’s New Zealand and Philippines projects in 2012. OceanaGold exercises dominant control of the prospective Reefton and Macraes goldfields in New Zealand. The exploration program has been successful over 2009 and 2010 both replacing reserve ounces mined and extending the reserve base and mine life of the operations. The focus in 2011 was to continue to extend the reserve base through upgrading resources to reserves but also to undertake greenfields programs with a goal to identify potential new deposits outside the current mining footprints.
The Company’s update to mineral resources and reserves in 2011 was the third consecutive year of increase in gold reserves net of mine depletion. Mineral resources, measured and indicated now stand at 6.71 million ounces of gold and 291,000 tonnes of copper with an additional inferred 3.58 million ounces of gold and 72,000 tonnes of copper.
With a strong outlook for gold, OceanaGold will intensify its focus on existing brownfields programs and newly identified greenfields opportunities to increase the reserve life of its Macraes and Reefton operations in 2012. The Company will also ramp up its Philippines exploration program with a clear focus on targets in proximity to the Didipio deposit.