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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Copper: Latest News: April 11th 2013


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:: OceanaGold may Expand Processing Capacity at Didipio mine, Phillipines


OceanaGold Corp may expand its ore processing plant's capacity after the Australian miner commissions its Didipio copper-gold project in Nueva Vizcaya, Phillipines.

The Didipio mine, which will become the first mining tenement in the country to operate under a financial or technical assistance agreement (FTAA), is expected to produce 100,000 ounces of gold and 14,000 tons of copper a year over an estimated 16-year mine life. It was scheduled to start operations in the fourth quarter of this year.

In a report, OceanaGold said 5 million metric tons per annum of capacity may be added to the initial 2.5 mtpa after 2014. The company expects the facility to have a throughput of 3.5 mtpa by end of 2014. Its nominal production rate would increase to 150,000 ounces of gold and 20,000 tons of copper per annum.

OceanaGold earlier signed an off-take agreement with Trafigura for the sale and purchase of 100 percent of the copper and gold concentrate from the Didipio mine. The 5-year agreement takes effect from the start of production at Didipio.

Besides taking delivery of copper and gold concentrates from the Didipio mine site, Trafigura will manage all land and sea transportation from the mine site to smelters.

A leading international commodity trader that specializes in the supply and transport of concentrates, Trafigura owns and operates storage facilities in China and elsewhere around the world.

During last week's 59th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference in Baguio City, Didipio general manager Brennan Lang said the project would contribute up to 42 percent of Nueva Vizcaya's gross domestic product. "With the Didipio project, it will become one of the largest mining provinces in the Philippines," he said. "Next year, exploration activities with the tenement of the Didipio mine as well as in [OceanaGold's] other tenements in Surigao, Apayao and Cagayan would continue with the hopes of finding another Didipio," he added.




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