OceanaGold reports 22.35% rise in gold production at Didipio mine

OCEANAGOLD Corp. saw a 22.35% increase in gold production at its Didipio Gold-Copper Mine in Nueva Vizcaya last year, the Australian-Canadian mining company said on Tuesday.

Year on year, the mine produced 138,500 ounces (oz) of gold, up from 113,200 oz in the previous year, it said in a statement.

“We are glad to have exceeded the top end of our 2023 production guidance ranging from 125,000 to 135,000 oz of gold and 12,000 to 14,000 metric tons of copper,” Didipio Mine President and External Affairs and Social Performance General Manager Joan Adaci-Cattiling said.

However, its copper production slipped 1.38% to 14,200 metric tons (MT) last year from 14,400 MT in 2022.

The increase in gold production was attributed to the mining of higher-grade breccia stopes in the fourth quarter of 2023, facilitated by the completion of the crown pillar strengthening project.

This strengthened the bottom of the mine’s ground surface directly above the underground mine, enabling safer underground mining activities.

Meanwhile, the average gold price per ounce increased by 9% to $1,974 in 2023 from $1,811 in 2022.

In contrast, copper prices per pound inched higher to $3.87 in 2023.

Didipio also raised the amount of production taxes paid to the government to $26.3 million or P1.46 billion in 2023, and an additional government share of $20.3 million or P1.1 billion per the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement, the company said. — Aubrey Rose A. Inosante