Business North March 2021

42 | Oceana set for responsible growth Karen Phelps OceanaGold is developing the new Martha Underground Mine at its Waihi Operation in the North Island. MINING OceanaGold I n 2020 OceanaGold celebrated 30 years since pouring their first gold bar at the Mac- raes Operation in the South Island. Since then the company has grown to in- clude the Waihi Operation on the North Island, the Didipio Mine in the Philippines and the Haile Gold Mine in the United States. Over the coming years the company is look- ing to invest up to $5.5 billion in New Zealand (80% of which stays here in wages, procure- ment, government payments and partner- ships with community and institutions), directly employ over 1200 people and work in partnership with communities to continue de- livering responsible and sustainable outcomes before, during, and after mining. David Way, OceanaGold’s Executive General Manager for New Zealand and the Philippines, says the company is committed to producing minerals responsibly as part of a transition to a low-carbon world. “OceanaGold is exploring and testing inno- vations such as automation and electrification to enhance performance, further protect worker health and reduce environmental and societal impacts,” David said. “Here in New Zealand, with an abundance of renewable energy and the technology to mine more sustainably, we are well-positioned to demonstrate how responsible mining should be done globally,” he said. Waihi General Manager, Matthew Hine, says the company has a proud mining legacy in New Zealand and would be operating two new underground mines by the end of this year the new Martha Underground Mine at the Waihi Operation in the North Island, and Gold- en Point Underground Mine being developed at the Macraes Operation in the South Island. “When OceanaGold acquired the Waihi Operation in 2015, the mine had only a few years of life remain. The company committed to extending the life of the mine and we were proud to deliver that commitment in 2019 with the development of the Martha Under- ground Mine,” Matthew says. “We have a strong and sustainable future ahead of us in New Zealand. With the delivery of the Waihi District Study in 2020, we iden- tified opportunities to further-extend the life of the operation, including the brownfields expansions as part of Project Quattro and the Wharekirauponga Underground Project just north of Waihi,” he says. At the Macraes Operation, New Zealand’s largest gold producing mine, the company started development of the Golden Point Un- derground Mine in late 2020, with production expected to commence by the end of 2021. “At Macraes we expect to produce over 1 million ounces of gold through to 2028. This will come from the Golden Point Underground and additional open pit opportunities. “This extension to the mine life at Macraes mine will continue to support jobs, partner- ships and make a meaningful economic, social and environmental contribution.” “We are also delivering world-class closure and rehabilitation at our Reefton Restoration Project on the West Coast in the South Island. “The team is undertaking a large-scale res- toration programme and to date has planted 700,000 native seedlings. “That work is supported by major earth- works and pest control, the establishment of a wetland and community partnerships,” he said. “This year the team started work on an in- novative passive water treatment system that will manage the site’s water seepage without the need for a chemical water treatment plant.”