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OceanaGold Q3'19 output slips; miner cuts FY production guidance on Didipio woes

OceanaGold Corp. slashed its full-year gold production guidance due to a blockade impacting operations in the Philippines.

Processing at the company's Didipio gold-copper mine in the Philippines is suspended as it ran out of supplies needed for operations amid the blockade by a local government unit. It is unclear when operations will be able to resume.

The company said Oct. 15 that it does not expect any further production or sales from the Didipio operation for the rest of the year.

OceanaGold expects to produce 460,000 to 480,000 ounces of gold and 10,000 to 11,000 tonnes of copper in 2019.

Consolidated all-in sustaining costs, or AISC, are expected at US$1,040 per ounce sold to US$1,090/oz sold, and cash costs are expected at US$710/oz sold to US$760/oz sold.

The company had been targeting gold output of 500,000 to 550,000 ounces in 2019 at all-in sustaining costs of between US$850/oz and US$900/oz. Copper production was expected at 14,000 to 15,000 tonnes.

Underground mining at Didipio was suspended in mid-July after the local government blocked supplies from entering the mine site.

Earlier in July, the company filed for an injunction against any moves to halt its flagship operation with the provincial court at Nueva Vizcaya after Gov. Carlos Padilla issued a directive to "restrain any operations" of OceanaGold, claiming environmental breaches.

President and CEO Mick Wilkes said OceanaGold will stay ready for a restart and is in talks with the national government and regulators to finalize a renewal of the financial or technical assistance agreement.

OceanaGold's production in the third quarter totaled 107,478 ounces of gold and 2,316 tonnes of copper. AISC was US$1,122/oz on sales of 94,347 ounces of gold, and cash costs totaled US$828/oz sold.

Didipio's third-quarter production of 16,727 ounces of gold and 2,316 tonnes of copper went unsold due to the suspension of transport early in the quarter.

Production in the third quarter of 2018 was 138,000 ounces of gold and 4,300 tonnes of copper at AISC of US$761/oz.