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OceanaGold shares reach 22-month high as Didipio start looms

Friday 5th October 2012

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OceanaGold Corp shares continued their solid run, rising 3.6 percent in early morning trading on the NZX, to reach a 22-month high of $4.07.

The latest rise means shares in the gold miner have risen 77 percent in the last three months and coincides with a further progress report from the company today on preparations to start processing ore at its new gold mine, Didipio, in the Philippines.

New Zealand brokers Forsyth Barr are calling the Didipio development a "game changer" for OceanaGold, whose existing operations are concentrated in the Macraes gold field in central Otago.

The Didipio project, in northern Luzon, is a little over a month away from going into production, the latest update statement says.

"The company expects to commence processing ore through the mills in November," the company said. "Capital costs for construction remain in line with the revised capital cost of $220 million, which was released in July this year."

Electrical work on the process plant will be substantially completed by the end of this month, with new larger haul trucks arriving at the mine site as ore mining continues to ramp up.

Structural and mechanical works are 95 percent complete, OceanaGold says.

The brokerage expects the Didipio development to "transform" the company from a high-cost gold producer at around US$970 per ounce to more like US$600, and is placing a target share price for OceanaGold of $5.18 over the next year.

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