Sagittarius Mines welcomes gov’t move on Tampakan issue
(The Philippine Star) - November 20, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The government is expected to resolve by the end of the month the challenges faced by the proposed copper-gold project of Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) in South Cotabato. 

An interagency working group (IAWG) created within the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) is expected to come up with solutions to the problems hounding SMI by Nov. 30.

“They are on track to submitting recommendations by Nov. 30,” said SMI spokesman Manolo Labor.

The IAWG was created in September as a response to SMI’s petition for the formation of a unit that can help it resolve various issues that prevent the advancement of the project. 

“The recommendations to be made by the working group are aimed at finding a solution to challenges facing the project,” Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) director Leo Jasareno said. 

The Tampakan copper-gold project is jointly owned by global commodities giants GlencoreStrata and IndoPhil Resources. SMI is the Philippine contractor for the project. 

While no further progress on the project has been made, SMI has cut down expenditure in the tenement as it revises its work plan. Expenditure in the project was reduced to $1 million per month compared to $4 million per month as 85 percent of the company’s 1,060 strong workforce were laid off. 

SMI said it would conform to the minimum work requirement within the tenement such as the continuing maintenance of the community and their social activities while awaiting the approval of their declaration of mining project feasibility (DMPF), a document containing an assessment on the commercial viability of deposits.

Indophil welcomed the government’s action to iron out kinks that have delayed the implementation of the project, saying major issues should be resolved for a smooth implementation.

“We welcome the government’s move to thresh out and help resolve the key blockers to take this vital project forward and into high gear,” said Gavan Collery, Indophil’s vice president for corporate affairs.

“We ask the government to work with us in the issues of open-pit mining resettlement planning and securing the FPIC....This would be a litmus test on the Philippine government’s recognition of the importance of mining (in the country),” he added. 

 

 

GAVAN COLLERY INDOPHIL LEO JASARENO MANOLO LABOR MINES AND GEOSCIENCES BUREAU MINING INDUSTRY COORDINATING COUNCIL PROJECT SAGITTARIUS MINES INC SMI
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