OceanaGold [OCG-TSX, OCGT-ASX] said Friday the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers (ACOE) has published the Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Haile Gold Mine, located in Kershaw, South Carolina.
The development is key to the company’s plan to commence underground development at Haile, where open pit mining is expected to continue until the end of the third quarter of 2022.
The SEIS is now in a 30-day public comment period, after which there is a 15-day review period before the final SEIS Record of Decision is then scheduled to be issued.
The company said it is of the view that the comment period and the review period are unlikely to result in a change to the SEIS. The company expects the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and ACOE will issue the associated permits shortly after the SEIS record of decision is finalized and their permit process is complete.
The Record of Decision and related permits are required to commence development of Haile underground, and also to expand the site’s operating footprint. Receiving a permit would allow OceanaGold to develop additional potentially-acid generating waste containment facilities, overburden facilities, and an expanded tailings storage facility.
“The publishing of the SEIS is an important step towards finalizing this process and receiving the related operating permits that will allow commencement of the development of the underground mine, increase Haile’s gold production and help unlock the full value of Haile,’’ said OceanaGold President and CEO Gerard Bond.
OceanaGold shares advanced on the news, rising 1.6% or $0.035 to $2.14 on volume of 605,910. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $3.41 and $1.79.
Gold was first discovered at the Haile Gold Mine in 1827 and a history of significant production has since been established. In January, 2017, the first gold was poured from the modern Haile Gold Mine after OceanaGold acquired the operation in late 2015.
Proven and probable reserves at the site currently stand at 2.84 million ounces, according to company documents.
OceanaGold is a multinational gold producer with a pipeline of organic growth opportunities and established assets, including the Didipio mine in the Philippines, the Macraes and Waihi operations in New Zealand and Haile gold mine in the United States.
In the first six months of 2022, OceanaGold produced 246,331 ounces of gold, a 39% increase over the first half of 2021. Of that amount, Haile open pit produced 98,206 ounces, including 37,958 ounces in the second quarter. Total revenue in the first half of 2022 was US$515 million.
The company is targeting overall production of between 445,000 and 495,000 ounces of gold this year.