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Oceanagold 2009 Gold Output A Record

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Jan 22 NZPA - OceanaGold, which operates mines in Otago and the West Coast, reported fourth quarter gold sales of 72,140oz, lifting its total for the 2009 financial year 14 percent from 2008 to a record 300,044oz.

For the three months to the end of December operational expenditure was $US35 million ($NZ49.3m), while exploration spending was $US1.9m, the Melbourne-based company said today.

By the end of the quarter, six drill rigs were operating at the Macraes goldfield in Otago, with one at the company's Reefton mine.

That programme was part of a commitment to replace and expand the resource base of the company's operations in this country, OceanaGold said.

Field sampling was also carried out on six exploration permits at the company's Didipio project in the Philippines, with assay results expected in the first quarter of 2010.

Production guidance for the 2010 year had been set at 270,000 to 290,000oz of gold at cash costs of $US455 to $US495 an oz.

Earlier this month and in December, OceanaGold announced an increase in reserves of 754,000oz of gold at Macraes and 122,000oz at Reefton. The company said three years had been added to the life of the Macraes mine, extending the operation out to at least 2016.

Its gold reserves in this country now totalled 1.94m oz.

OceanaGold shares were down 9c around mid-afternoon to $2.46, after the price of gold fell overnight to a three-week low of $US1088.30 as US President Barack Obama's plans to limit banks' risk taking raised concerns about diminishing capital flow from banks, which have provided liquidity for gold and commodities investors.

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