Frasers Underground successfully commissioned
OceanaGold Corporation has successfully commissioned the Frasers Underground mine at its Macraes operation on the South Island of New Zealand.This is the second new gold mine that OceanaGold has commissioned in the past 12 months. The Frasers Underground mine was completed on schedule, at a capital cost net of gold revenue of NZ$33.4m, which includes NZ$7.7m for additional development to de-risk the first year of production. The Frasers Underground has been developed on the down-dip extension of the ore body currently being mined via the Macraes open-pit. According to OceanaGold, this new underground mine will produce approximately 900,000 tonnes of ore in 2008, which will be processed through the existing Macraes processing plant. Frasers concentrate represents about 16% of the total throughput for the Macraes autoclave, with the remainder coming from Macraes and Reefton concentrates. The underground development to date totals 6.5km and will continue simultaneously as mining progresses. OceanaGold said that exploration is ongoing and results at depth continue to demonstrate strong continuity with numerous higher-grade areas defined. OceanaGold Vice-President of New Zealand Operations, John Kinyon said the company was pleased to have completed the Frasers Underground within its scheduled timeframe. “Development rates exceeded our targets during 2007 and were able to access more ore faces than anticipated,” Mr Kinyon said.“As a result, Frasers has been scheduled to produce 900,000 tonnes of ore in 2008, versus the 800,000 tonnes per annum anticipated in the project’s feasibility study. “The addition of our third mine in New Zealand gives OceanaGold significant flexibility to achieve its 2008 production targets,” he said.