[For full statement with figures, see... OceanaGold.pdf]
24 November 2005
OceanaGold Completes Frasers Bankable Feasibility Study
OceanaGold today announced that it has completed the bankable feasibility study (BFS) for its Frasers underground mine. The study has been independently reviewed by technical auditors RSG Global and the project’s economic return is robust and sufficient to support debt financing.
During 2005, the Company redesigned the Frasers Underground project to improve the expected profit margin and reduce the initial capital required for development. In addition, ongoing exploration drilling extended the resource at depth and improved the ore grade. The resulting redesign work incorporated a more selective mining method to maximise mined grade and development capital was reduced significantly.
The BFS is based on production of 4.5 million tonnes at a grade of 2.83g/t (diluted) for 360,000 ounces. Cash costs are expected to be NZ$401 per ounce. This incorporates the current proven and probable reserve and 62% of the deeper Panel 2 Extension area, where higher grade intersections have confirmed the continuity of mineralization extending down-dip from Panel 2 (See Figure 1). An Inferred Resource of 1.28 million tonnes (Mt) at 4.44 grams per tonne (g/t) gold has been estimated for this Panel 2 Extension area which is still open at depth.
The Frasers Underground operation will be mined in conjunction with the Macraes open pit at a production rate of 0.8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) achieved from mid 2008. This mine will increase annual production at the Macraes operation to around 225,000 ounces from mid 2008.
Supplementary production from Globe Progress will further increase the company’s total gold production to around 300,000 ounces per annum.
Based on the study’s productivities and costs, the project generates an un-geared Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 29% with capital payback occurring in 29 months. Highlights of the study are as follows:
- Annual Production Rate 800,000 tonnes per annum
- Plant Recovery 88%
- Total Ounces Produced 360,000
- Cash Costs NZ$401 per ounce
- Pay Back Period (from time of maximum drawdown) 29 months
- Project Duration 95 months
- Total Pre Production Capital Cost NZ$55 million
- Total Capital Cost NZ$70 million The underground mine will initially be accessed from the open pit starting in April 2006, through a decline that will be mined on the ore body. This strategy was adopted to minimise the capital expenditure and facilitate initial trial mining in order to optimise ground control and dilution control techniques prior to full-scale production. The development and trial mining will be conducted with the existing underground mining fleet that was purchased from the administrators of mining contractor, HWE.
The mine development and trial stoping will be conducted by mining contractors over a two year period followed by long term production.
CEO, Steve Orr said “This study confirms that the Frasers Underground is a robust project. As further higher grade Panel 2 extension ore is incorporated, we expect to increase the project’s mining life and further improve the project’s economic return. Additionally, the deposit still has significant potential to add more reserves at depth."
OceanaGold is currently negotiating a debt facility to fully fund the Frasers Underground development and its Globe Progress surface mine in the Reefton Goldfield. The Company expects to complete the Globe Progress bankable feasibility study in December 2005.
A more detailed document summarising the Frasers BFS is available on our website at www.oceanagold.com.