OceanaGold Projects Update
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Posted February 13, 2020
OceanaGold Senior Communications Advisor Kit Wilson called in for a catch-up about local mining operations. Click on our podcast link to hear the full interview - which includes information about water, staff lay offs, a proposed court case, AEP payments, the Pit Rim Walkway and the next community meeting on Thursday February 27.
Brian Gentil asked Kit whether the water shortage in Waihi is causing any issues for OceanaGold. Kit explained what happened for OceanaGold yesterday saying, as of this morning we’re looking pretty good. He also said their operations were not water dependent and talked about the amount of water they take and the amount put back each day. Although OceanaGold has plenty of water and suggestions have been made that dewatering could be reused for Waihi it is hard water and would need extra processing. Listen in to the interview to hear Kit’s explanation.
Brian asked about staff layoffs as a bit of concern is being expressed locally due to the trickle down effect. Kit said it’s difficult to talk about this and be specific about numbers because staff are currently talking to management. He explained why this is happening.
Brian mentioned how talk locally about the applications to buy two farms through the Overseas Investment Office highlighted employment locally as a reason for approval and then a few months later staff layoffs happen. Kit said, we will continue to employ staff and in a year’s time we’ll be back to full strength again but right now we’re having to reduce our staff numbers.
Brian brought up a court case coming up and asked for OceanaGold’s viewpoint. Kit stressed that it is the government that is being taken to court not OceanaGold and said I’m sure we’ll be a party to that but it’s not us. “We think we’ve done everything right, we think the Ministers who made that decision have done everything right and we’ll see where that goes when it gets to court.”
Brian asked about AEP payments and how close they are and whether they are to finish soon with Correnso ending. Kit explained what is happening with the payments reminding people that the big blast that occurred recently won’t come out in the next payment.
Kit mentioned the Pit Rim Walkway last time he visited. Brian asked about progress. Work starts today Kit said and talked about what will happen and what people can expect. He said he’s really looking forward to getting it completed and providing something for the community.
Brian wrapped up by asking about community meetings and what is happening. Kit said the next community meeting is the week after next, Thursday February 27. The meeting will detail both Project Martha and Correnso and is open for anyone to attend to ask questions and find out what the mining company is doing. Kym Calderwood, OceanaGold’s new External Affairs and Social Performance Manager, will be looking after the community meetings from now on.