Oceana Gold said that its New Zealand-based Macraes open pit mine has increased its gold reserves by 259,000oz, which will prolong the mine’s life to at least 2016.

The total reserves at the mine, when combined with last year’s increase of 495,000oz, amounts to 754,000oz of gold.

Additional reserves, calculated at a gold price assumption of $800/oz, have been obtained following a geologic interpretation and economic analysis for the Southern Pit deposit.

Oceana CEO Paul Bibby said the additional reserves found at the mine prove the potential of the Macraes goldfield to convert resources to reserves.

“There is a significant resource base at Macraes and over the past few months we have successfully added three years to the mine life through this conversion programme, extending the operation out to at least 2016,” Bibby said.

“We expect further positive results from the programmes to continue over the coming months.”