OceanaGold announces staff cuts

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OceanaGold are set to cut staff numbers at Macraes Goldfield.

A report from the company board of directors approved a new mine schedule which, due to the falling price of gold, seeks to reduce the cost of running the mine to sustain operations.

The report states there will be a reduction in the total material movement schedule to ensure there is lower usage of equipment and less staff requirements at the mine over the next two years.

Exact staff numbers are unknown at this point.

At the current gold price, the Macraes Open Pit has a mine life until the end of 2017 and Frasers Underground mine to to mid-2015.

OceanaGold managing director and CEO Mick Wilkes said the changes were necessary for the company.

“The Macraes Goldfield has been operating continuously for over 23 years producing over 3.8 million ounces of gold,” he said.

“During its life, Macraes has been a major employer and contributor to the Otago region and local economy.

“The continuing lower gold price has necessitated the need to make changes to our business to ensure a sustainable operation at Macraes. Unfortunately these changes will also have an impact on some of our workforce and contractors.”

Mr Wilkes said he wished to thank and acknowledge those affected by job losses for their contribution to OceanaGold.

Further details are unknown at the time the Oamaru Mail went to print.

By DAVID DE LOREAN