Oceanagold says mining continues at Philippine mine, seeks clarification

Oceanagold has not received any formal order from the Philippine government about its Dipidio gold-copper mine and said mining and processing activities there continue.

Earlier today, Australia-listed Oceanagold halted the trading of its shares after Dipidio, on the Philippine island of Luzon, was named in media reports as being suspended by the country’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) following the country’s mining audit.

The company is seeking clarification and further details and will consider all avenues – including working collaboratively with the DENR – to facilitate the immediate resolution of the matter to ensure no disruption to its operations, it said.

“We are disappointed with the statements made earlier today and will seek clarification and reconsideration from the DENR to further understand and rectify this matter in short order,” Mick Wilkes, president and CEO of Oceanagold, said, adding that the company has prided itself for being a responsible mining company with a long history of operating to the highest industry standards.

The Philippines has ordered another 20 more mines to be suspended after it released its mining audit results on Tuesday. Only 10 mines – out of 40 in the Philippines – passed the country’s environmental audit. Should the 20 be eventually halted, it will bring total closures to 30, Reuters reported.

The Dipidio mine has capacity of 100,000 ounces per year of gold and 14,000 tonnes per year of copper.

The Philippines’ gold production rose 12 percent to 20.6 tonnes of gold last year, according to data from the Mines & Geosciences Bureau. The country also produced 83,835 tonnes of copper in concentrate, down nine percent on the previous year.

(Editing by Mark Shaw)