OceanaGold (TSX: OGC) has implemented the permanent lay-off of 496 employees at its Didipio gold and copper mine, located across the Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces on the island of Luzon, Philippines.
Along with the termination of direct employees, approximately 400 people working as contractors are also impacted, according to the miner.
“The company may be required to implement a second-round of permanent lay-offs in mid November and has provided notices to affected employees,” OceanaGold said in an Oct. 13 statement.
Since July 2019, local government units have blocked access to and from the Didipio mine site. Authorities claim to have been largely bypassed in a permit renewal process, which existing laws place under the national government’s realm.
“Today is a sad day for the company and for the many hundreds of workers and their families whose livelihoods have been impacted by the local government blockade of the public road pending the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) renewal, which has constrained our ability to continue operations over the past 15 months,” OceanaGold CEO Michael Holmes said in a statement.
“The company has actively participated in community-led dialogue. Despite these efforts, a small group of local leaders have refused to consider access arrangements that would have preserved these jobs.”
Didipio, which began production in 2013, has measured and indicated resources of 1.3 million oz. gold and 160,000 tonnes copper.