Site Skills Training Mine

Supporting the Philippines to become an Internationally Recognised Training Destination

In September 2015, OGC was proud to open Asia’s first underground mine training facility located at Clarke, Pamanga north of Manila.  The facility is a purpose-built training complex designed to simulate underground mining conditions and is based on the exact tunnel dimensions of the Didipio underground mine, which is currently in development. The underground mine training facility has been completed with offtake drives, fuel refill locations, safety refuge chambers, crib rooms, explosives magazines and a range of fixed and mobile equipment set up for use.

The facility is part of a $2 million investment in partnership with the Australian based Site Skills Training organisation and mine safety leader, MineARC Systems. It augments an existing multi-purpose international training facility providing a wide range of programs to local and international students.

OGC’s investment in this facility will enable the Company to equip its Didipio-based employees with the skills and knowledge to work safely and efficiently in an underground mine. The first batch of graduates for the 4-month Underground Work Readiness Program were deployed to the development of the Didipio underground mine. One of these graduates, a resident of Didipio has recently been promoted to Underground Risk Engineer for his outstanding performance.

The facility delivers internationally recognised training modules and outcomes which can be delivered over a 12-16 week period.  Initially this facility will mostly service the Didipio Mine training needs with a full expectation that over time, it will attract trainees from other mines and function as a significant independent commercial operation for the Philippines.

Sustainable Agroforestry

As part of our commitment to reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, our team in the Philippines recently donated over 21,000 seedlings of various tree species to the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), which is a branch of the Philippine Department of Environment Natural Resources (DENR).

The seedlings were reared at the OceanaGold Central Nursery located in Barangay Tucod, approximately three kilometers from Didipio Mine. The nursery is operated by OceanaGold Sustainable Agroforestry Inc. (OGSAI) which was established to operate and manage the delivery of all of our reforestation commitments and obligations in the Philippines.

OGSAI’s vision is to replace the trees removed as part of the establishment and mining at Didipio Mine, while also establishing a successful economic enterprise which will provide sustainable benefits beyond the life of mine.

Junction Reefs

Junction Reefs was an operating gold mine in the early 80’s. Located 45mins outside Orange NSW, Junction Reefs has been fully rehabilitated.  This site was originally mined by the Chinese in the early 1900s alongside many other alluvial gold miners.  The site is now home to a number of heritage sites and provides habitat for a highly diverse range of native species of fauna and flora.

Didipio: Security Guard Training

We recently partnered with the Philippine authorities to hold a seminar to better equip our security contractors with the tools to observe the basic principles of human rights. The activity was held in July at the mine’s 550-man camp.

The officer in charge of the commission on Human Rights, Cecilia Lazaro, conducted an information and education seminar among security personnel tasked to guard the mine’s premises.  The seminar focused its discussion on several rules applied in such situations where engagement is inevitable. Our team taught the delegates about the requirement of a person in a position of authority to exercise maximum tolerance in dealing with actual and potential civil disturbances.

A Community and Human Rights Compliance Standards Manual was recently published and distributed around the company.

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Reefton Mine Rehabilitation

The Reefton Mine Rehabilitation Project is ambitious. Situated in the sub-alpine Victoria Forest Park conservation area, the project aims to re-establish ecosystems with indigenous species in a new post-mining landscape. The post-restoration areas will mostly consist of forested areas populated by beech species and complemented by native conifers, including rimu and miro trees.

The project delivery has been a multidisciplinary effort, with our site-based environmental specialist working closely with the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the West Coast Regional Council and the Buller District Council. First commencing in 2004, the restored area now encompasses an impressive 30.6 hectares of land.

“Everything has worked very well in the past few years and I have no doubt that the methods we use will be effective in the larger areas required to restore the whole mine site. The trial work and smaller scale planting that we completed earlier on in the mine life have contributed greatly to our success.” Duncan Ross, Environment Manager

In 2014 alone, the project team completed over 12.25 hectares of restoration which includes planting approximately 73,000 seedlings over 11.5 hectares. In 2015, a further 116,000 seedlings are expected to be ready for planting, enough to complete an additional 17 hectares of restoration. Early trials and detailed planning have proved invaluable to the team’s success and have enabled the gradual increase in the volume of seeds planted. This has allowed natural succession processes to take place and helped to re-establish the original closed canopy forest for the future.

 

Sustainable Water Management

Our commitment to sustainable water management in the Philippines was demonstrated in the successful commissioning of our new water treatment plant, which not only showcases the latest technology, but helps make the work of sustainable water management much easier.

The team’s objective was to ensure the quality of water leaving the site meets, and preferably exceeds, the standards required for successful environmental management.

The new plant boasts a thickener with a 34m diameter and has a capacity of 4,500m squared and a throughput rate of 2,000 m squared per hour

The project took eight months to complete by a team of local contractors and our employees and further demonstrates the Company’s strong technical and project delivery capability.

Supporting Future Rivers

In 2014, we proudly sponsored the inaugural Emerging River Professionals Award (ERPA), which was announced a conference in Canberra. The award was established by the International River Foundation and aims to recognize and nurture professionals in the early stages of their careers in rivers. Attracting outstanding international nominees and demonstrating that river management is a truly multi-disciplinary

The award winner was Dr Nelson Odume, whose project focused on freshwater management and on developing new methods for monitoring human impact in South Africa.

Chief Operating Officer Michael Holmes, who presented the award on behalf of OceanaGold, congratulated Dr Odume on his success and highlighted the Company’s commitment happy new year 2018 wishes to investing in global river basin management and particularly in developing countries.

 

Macraes Lizard Habitat

Our Macraes operation has made a major commitment to helping local lizards establish a new home. The project was initiated as part of the broader permitting process to commence mining in the site’s Coronation Pit and required the construction of an additional lizard habitat on the outer boundaries of the new pit.

The new habitat consists of deep rock piles, which were constructed by excavating 10 areas of approximately 100 square metres in size and up to one metre in depth that allow water

The monitoring of lizard colonisation will continue annually for the next five years and the team remains committed to nurturing local biodiversity and making the lizards feel at home.