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Multinational gold producer OceanaGold has received the necessary permits to expand the Macraes gold operation in New Zealand.

The latest permits allow OceanaGold to extend the open pit at the Deepdell North stage III site, develop the Golden Point underground (GPUG) mine as well as expand the Frasers West pit.

These permits allow the gold producer to extend the Macraes mine life until 2028.

These projects are collectively expected to produce about 1.1 million ounces (Moz) of gold over the next eight to nine years as well as generate significant free cash flow for the company in 2021.

Macraes is an open pit and underground gold mine located on the South Island of New Zealand. It is one of the largest gold producing operations in the country.

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By GlobalData

The mine is situated 2km east of Macraes township in the Waitaki District of Otago New Zealand.

OceanaGold president and CEO Michael Holmes said: “The receipt of consents for the three projects are a testament to our 30-year history of responsible mining and outstanding environmental stewardship in one of the greenest countries in the world.

“Collectively, these projects are forecasted to produce 1.1 million ounces of gold over an eight-year mine life.

“Open pit and underground operations are expected to produce on average 150,000 to 170,000 ounces of gold per year at All-in Sustaining Costs of around $1,000 per ounce as outlined in the recent technical report. With no New Zealand dollar gold hedges in place beyond 2020, we expect the operation to generate significant free cash flow in 2021 and beyond.”

Last month, OceanaGold set a target of net-zero emissions by at its operations 2025.

In April, OceanaGold resumed operations in New Zealand after the government lowered the country’s Covid-19 alert level from four to three.