OceanaGold Corporation wishes to provide a corporate update relating to various media reports in recent days regarding community issues associated with the Didipio Project in Northern Luzon, Philippines.
The Company has been made aware that the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (“CHR”) has released a resolution in response to certain allegations made against the Company in 2008/2009. The Company is concerned that it has not been formally notified by the CHR office, yet it would however appear that this report has been made available to certain interest groups and media outlets in the Philippines.
OceanaGold is fully committed to the development of the Didipio Project. The Company continues to maintain its obligations under the leasehold agreement (Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement) and is operating in accordance with the Philippine Mining Act in partnership with the Philippine Government and with local community stakeholders. The Company is compliant with all the laws and regulations associated with operating as a foreign company in the Philippines and is committed to ethical, responsible and sustainable mineral development.
The Company is actively involved in a number of community and humanitarian programs in the local communities situated near the Didipio Project with particular efforts in health and medicine, clean water provision, education, reforestation and environment, community development and infrastructure. The company insists it has met, and is committed to continuing to meet, the human rights of the local community.
OceanaGold CEO, Mick Wilkes stated “The Company is firmly committed to building strong and enduring relationships with our community in the development and ongoing operations of the Didipio Project for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
OceanaGold has commenced pre-construction activities on the Didipio Project, with detailed engineering design of infrastructure and the process plant now underway. Additionally, key members of the project management and construction team are now in place. The Didipio Project is fully financed, has the necessary permits and is on schedule to achieve commercial production in Q1 2013.
Full release (pdf)