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OceanaGold eyeing fast-tracked permitting for Waihi North under new gov’t regime

OceanaGold (TSX: OGC) (OTCQX: OCANF) is welcoming the new permitting regime introduced by New Zealand’s recently elected government that looks to accelerate the development of major projects, which the company believes its Waihi North project would meet the requirement for.

Waihi North is a proposed underground mining project anchored by the Wharekirauponga development, located just north of OceanaGold’s existing Waihi mine operations. It is supplemented by the Gladstone open pit that lies directly to the west of the Waihi processing plant.

Since acquiring the Waihi operations in 2015, the mid-tier gold producer has made a commitment to extending its mine life, which was kickstarted by the opening of the Martha underground mine. It also undertook extensive exploration in the area, leading to the discovery of a gold resource beneath Wharekirauponga and at Gladstone.

“The recently announced introduction of the Fast Track Approvals Bill signals a new focus by the New Zealand government to facilitate the delivery of significant development projects, including mining,” Gerard Bond, CEO of OceanaGold, stated in a news release.

“We look forward to learning more about the government’s criteria and process for fast-track approvals, given the potential for accelerated permitting of the Waihi North project, which includes Wharekirauponga.

According to the company, Wharekirauponga has the potential to “create significant socio-economic contributions for the communities in the Coromandel region and for New Zealand.” It also envisages the development of a mine that aligns with its objective to reducing its carbon footprint.

In Thursday’s release, the company also reported the results for 10 drill holes from the ongoing exploration and resource conversion program at Wharekirauponga. The best results include 61.9 g/t gold over 4.0 metres from 534.4 metres, 31.0 g/t gold over 5.2 metres from 513.7 metres, and 58.5 g/t gold over 2.5 metres from 474.7 metres.

All reported holes were completed subsequent to the cut-off date for the latest Waihi North mineral resource estimate (December 31, 2023), which had 1.0 million oz. at a grade of 15.9 g/t gold in the indicated category and 350,000 oz. at 9.0 g/t gold inferred.

Shares of OceanaGold moved 2.2% higher by 11:25 a.m. ET on the latest announcement. The British Columbia-based gold miner has a market capitalization of C$1.9 billion ($1.4bn).

Source: MINING.COM – Read More