OceanaGold has secured a five-year extension to the exploration period of its financial or technical assistance agreement in the Philippines (FTAA exploration permit).

The extension will allow OceanaGold to conduct exploration activities in the broader region surrounding Didipio.

OceanaGold president and CEO Mick Wilkes said: "We are very pleased to announce that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in the Philippines has granted the renewal of the company’s FTAA exploration permit.

"We are now reviewing and prioritising targets and expect to provide clarity around the planned exploration programmes in the coming weeks."

The FTAA covers around 158km² in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.

"The FTAA covers around 158km² in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino."

OceanaGold said that previous geochemical sampling over the past few years has identified several gold and copper soil anomalies close to the Didipio operation.

The company plans to re-examine and prioritise its drill programme for the FTAA bounded area soon.

Wilkes added: "The company already has a significant mineral endowment and through an extensive exploration programme, we are seeking to significantly extend that endowment from our highly prospective exploration tenements in New Zealand, the Philippines and United States."

OceanaGold completed the acquisition of Romarco Minerals in October 2015, adding the Haile Gold Mine to its portfolio.

In May 2015, the company invested in junior exploration company Gold Standard Ventures, which is exploring in the prolific Carlin Trend.

In February 2016, OceanaGold said that construction activities at its Haile gold mine in the US was progressing and first ore is expected by the end of this year.

Image: OceanaGold FTAA exploration area in the Philippines. Photo: courtesy of OceanaGold Corporation.