Philippine Resources - June 05, 2023
Madrid-based firm picks PH for largest offshore wind project
Photo: Madrid-based offshore wind developer BlueFloat Energy announces that its largest planned offshore wind energy project will be located in the Philippines, with a capacity of 7.6 gigawatts. Answering questions from the media are (from left to right) Country Manager for the Philippines Raymund Pascual, Chief Executive Officer Carlos Martin, and Vice President for Business Development Pierre-Antoine Tetard during the press conference at the Manila Peninsula Hotel on June 2, 2023. (PNA photo by Kris Crismundo) Madrid-based offshore wind developer BlueFloat Energy has chosen the Philippines to locate its largest wind energy project. In a press conference in Makati City on Friday, BlueFloat Chief Executive Officer Carlos Martin said its planned offshore wind energy capacity in the Philippines is about 7.6 gigawatts (GW), which will be divided into four sites with capacities between 1.5 and 3.5 GW. “We can expect the first of those projects to be in the execution phase and nearing completion by the end of the decade,” he said. Martin said the company has a total of 32.4 GW of floating offshore wind projects across the globe, and the biggest capacity is eyed to be established in the Philippines. In the Asia Pacific, BlueFloat plans to put up 6.6 GW offshore wind power each in Taiwan and Australia, and 1.9 GW in New Zealand. In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) at the sidelines of the event, Martin said "there’s a challenge of doubling the production capacity (in the Philippines) within this decade" given the robust growth of the economy. “In markets like the Philippines, offshore wind can cover new demand. So the growth of the country implies that there is a big growth in the demand of power," he said. As one of the earliest players to look into the country’s offshore wind potentials, Martin said BlueFloat was able to select sites where there are good wind resources, no impact on environmentally-protected areas, and potential to connect to the grid, both existing and in the pipeline. BlueFloat Energy Philippines Country Manager Raymund Pascual said the Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the service contracts (SCs) for the firm's four projects late last year. Earlier, the DOE said it has issued 65 offshore wind energy SCs as of May 31, 2023. Relatively, the Board of Investments said it has registered some PHP390 billion investment pledges in this sector from three projects alone in the first quarter of 2023. Pascual said incentives from the government will encourage offshore wind developers to build integrated facilities here, which could include the port as well as manufacturing of wind turbines and other equipment for putting up an offshore wind energy infrastructure.
Philippine Resources - May 23, 2023
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT SIGNED WITH TVI RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (PHILS.) INC.
Photo credit: TVI Resource Development The Board of RTG Mining Inc. is pleased to announce that a comprehensive settlement of all outstanding issues with the Villar Family controlled Sage Capital and TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc. (“TVIRD”) has been reached and a binding Memorandum of Agreement signed. On execution of the final documents, expected in the next month, all litigation that RTG had launched will be withdrawn as part of an agreed restructuring of the Mabilo Project. The Villar Family is one of the most prominent families in the Philippines and RTG is pleased to partner with them in the development of the Mabilo Project, which is a significant mining project for the country. The key terms of the agreement for RTG include the following: RTG (through SRM Gold Limited) will retain a 40% interest in Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corporation (“Mt. Labo”) with the project also developed by Mt. Labo, in line with Philippine regulatory requirements, with Sage Capital (which is owned by TVIRD) holding the remaining 60%; RTG will have a 2% net smelter royalty (“NSR”); RTG’s debt together with interest, currently in the order of US$27M (subject to audit) will be repaid out of the proceeds of Stage 1 of the project, the Direct Shipping Operation subject to customary requirements to address liquidity and ongoing operations of Mt. Labo; Funding arrangements for the project as between the major shareholders of Mt. Labo have been successfully renegotiated, (relieving RTG of a sole funding obligation) and replaced with a pro-rata funding obligation, together with a disproportionate funding obligation of Sage Capital, as set out below; With debt repayments in full and the NSR, RTG will be entitled to approximately 57% of the proceeds of Stage 1, the Direct Shipping Operation; RTG will be entitled to 40% of the operating cashflow of the project, together with the 2% NSR and repayment of its debt, which is currently in the order of US$27M; The first US$5M of expenditure for Mt. Labo (or 12 months of expenditure, whichever occurs the earlier), will be funded pro-rata between the two shareholders (ie RTG will provide 40%) and thereafter, Sage Capital/TVIRD will sole fund the next US$5M of expenditure, with all additional funding thereafter to be provided on a pro-rata basis; All parties are required to act in the best interests of the project and not compete; A shareholders’ agreement will be finalised which will provide typical minority interest protection clauses including reserve matters for voting including annual budgets and appointments of key personnel; Any disputes will be resolved by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre; and On completion of final signed documents, all litigation matters will be withdrawn and settled in full. With the restructuring of the Mabilo Project now agreed, over the balance of this year, the remaining permitting matters and financing plans will be finalised, a review of the 2016 Feasibility Study will be completed, together with finalising the acquisition of surface rights, following which, a commitment to development will be formalised by the Board of Mt. Labo. RTG is pleased with the outcome of the discussions and the co-operative and constructive approach adopted by the Villar Family representatives. RTG believes they can be a strong and positive partner to work with to take the Mabilo Project forward, with both a near term development and future exploration activities to expand the project, which will start to unlock the value of the project for all stakeholders, not only the local communities but for the country as a whole.
Philippine Resources - May 22, 2023
Mining Operational Excellence Through Digital Transformation
Part 1: Mining Operation Challenges and Mine Operations Management Domains 1 & 2. By Mae Ann Cabasag, EM Mining companies encounter numerous challenges throughout their operations. However, initiatives to mitigate these challenges and improve efficiency are often limited. Most of these limitations emanated from a common factor: the challenge of “poor visibility” in mining operations. A viable solution is to adopt digital transformation in mining operations by incorporating available real-time data into an integrated system— capable of ensuring automatic updates and reliable source of information. Through this, mining companies not only understand simulations and plans developed but also anticipate potential outcomes. Various mining industry analysts have found that using non-digital methods in the mining operations can lead to a 27% reduction in production time and 25% increase in data inaccuracy. For a mining company to remain competitive in an industry susceptible to operation challenges, i.e. production processes, workers’ and equipment performances, ore quality and quantity, compliance to regulations, and inter-departmental collaboration, it needs to embrace digital transformation. Dassault Systèmes Mine Operations Management provides transformative digital solution for mining companies to achieve excellence in their operations. Mine Operations Management (MOM) equips mining companies with an integrated system for their mining operations, enabling them to achieve efficient plan and schedule. This system integrates entire operation data into a single repository source of information, known as the “single source of truth”, ensuring complete transparency of the company’s processes from mine to port. By leveraging MOM, we can address the following global mining industry challenges: Maintaining competitiveness amidst market volatility. Eliminating waste materials, poor communication, and error duplication. Improving site productivity and efficiency. Utilizing assets and sharing best practices across the value chain. Ensuring an utmost level of safety. Reducing environmental impacts and achieving sustainable operations. The transformative digital solution, Mine Operations Management, is composed of eight work packages, split across four domains, namely: Data Management, Material Reconciliation, Operational Control, and Assets Performance. These domains help generate valuable insights from integrated operational data for rapid and informed strategic decision-making. The Data Management consists of Master Data Model and Integration Framework packages essential for material tracking, stockpile management, task and workforce management, machine performance, and asset maintenance. It enables users to manage master data objects such as Site, Material, Location, Equipment, and Operator through manual data entry or third-party source systems. With this, mining companies can ensure efficient and integrated management of critical data required for seamless operations. Material Reconciliation, on the other hand, consists of Material Tracking and Stockpile Management packages. Material Tracking enables us to track material movements across different stages, i.e. from the least accurate grade estimated in geological model to the most precise information on shipped material quantity and quality, to account for any inaccuracies. While in the Stockpile Management, users not only can calculate daily stockpile balance, add Survey or Sampling data, analyze inventory levels and trends, create graphical representation of the stockpile balances and movements, calibrate stockpile using volumetric survey and sampling, enables comparison of different models, track movement genealogy and review stockpile slices for stockpiles with LIFO and FIFO calculation type but can create a different type of analysis such as actual vs plan vs model. In the upcoming article, we will explore the two remaining domains of Mine Operations Management to where assigning operational tasks, tracking compliance to plan, monitoring equipment down to workers’ performance are feasible in the mining operations. To know more about MOM, mining innovations and solutions, contact Dassault Systèmes Value Solutions Partner: Paramina Earth Technologies Inc. through email@example.com References: Make it happen for mine execution excellence: Dassault Systèmes®. MEGATrends. (n.d.). https://events.3ds.com/make-it-happen-for-mine-execution-excellence Dassault Systèmes. (2021, August 12). Digging deeper: The virtual solution for Mining Operational Excellence. Dassault Systèmes. https://discover.3ds.com/virtual-mining-operational excellence dassault3ds. (2022, June 16). The mining industry needs to adapt, but how? Dassault Systèmes blog. https://blog.3ds.com/brands/delmia/the-mining-industry-needs-to-adapt-but-how/
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Philippine Resources - May 22, 2023
Customer’s First Choice: Sandvik Philippines Delivers 11th and 12th Pantera DP1500i Drills to Filminera Resources Corporation
Sandvik Philippines has successfully commissioned and delivered to loyal customer Filminera Resources Corporation (“Filminera”) their 11th and 12th Pantera DP1500i Top-hammer Surface Drills last 25 January 2023 at the Masbate Gold Project (MGP) located in Masbate Island, Philippines. Photo shows Sandvik Technician Larry Lugnas (second from left) and Service Operations Manager Jorge Cabello (third from left) handing over the drills to MGP representatives. Located 360 km southeast of Manila, the Masbate Mine is operated by Filminera, the Philippine subsidiary of TSX- and NYSE-listed B2Gold with headquarters in Vancouver. In 2022, the mine produced a record-setting 212,728 oz of gold out of 7.93M tonnes of ore milled at an average grade of 1.11 g/t. B2Gold also operates the Fekola Mine in Mali and the Otjikoto Mine in Namibia. Their projects under development include the Anaconda Area in Mali and the Gramalote JV Project in Colombia. The Masbate Mine started operating in 2008 initially using 4 x Atlas Copco ECM660 Drills owned and operated by the erstwhile mining contractor, Leighton. When the opportunity for re-fleeting came about in 2012, Sandvik succeeded in winning the tender which came packaged with a full maintenance contract for 24,000 service meter hours of five years. Ironically, the said maintenance contract almost led to the cancellation of the order for the first 4 x DP1500i due to a dispute with the rates. Eventually, both Leighton and Sandvik were able to arrive at a mutually acceptable arrangement, and Sandvik ran the service contract for five years without incurring penalties in the availability guarantees. The contract was so profitable, Sandvik even had to share some of the residual profit at the end with Filminera under the pain-and-gain proviso of the contract. The next re-fleeting opportunity came in 2017, with the Masbate Mine. This time, there was no service contract attached to the equipment and Leighton was no longer the mining contractor; the mine has shifted to owner-miner operation. Sandvik managed to secure the repeat order for another batch of 4x DP1500i, banking on the proven performance and reliability of the first four. That brings the total to 8 units. Drill numbers 9 and 10 were ordered in July 2020 and delivered in 2021. Numbers 11 and 12 in the photo above were ordered in January 2022 and are now handed over to the customer. Filminera ordered two more DP1500i’s in November 2022; these machines are now awaiting completion in Tampere, for delivery later this year. That should bring the total to 14 x DP1500i units spread over 11 years for our most loyal Pantera DP1500i customer in the Philippines – Filminera Resources Corporation!
Philippine Resources - May 22, 2023
DIDIPIO MINE’S COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUND (CDF): BREAKING GROUND
Photo: Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Region II Regional Director Mario Ancheta joined barangay and municipal government officials and Didipio Mine employees in the groundbreaking of a farm-to-market road project in Ifugao Village, Diffun, Quirino last February 2023. The road project is part of the Mine’s Community Development Fund (CDF), which aims to share the benefits of the Didipio Mine outside its immediate communities. The Didipio Mine’s Community Development Fund (CDF) entered a new phase this year as different projects under the Fund are now in various stages of development and implementation. “We are pleased to share that the Didipio Mine’s Community Development Fund (CDF) is now into full implementation phase as different projects have been breaking ground since December 2022,” Atty. Joan D. Adaci-Cattiling, President of OceanaGold (Philippines), Inc., said. “From the drawing board to its launching last year, we are on our way to expanding the reach of the benefits brought by the Didipio Mine to more beneficiary communities in our host provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino,” she added. Caption: The Community Development Fund’s (CDF) Steering Committee and Technical Working Group members that includes DENR Region II Regional Executive Director Dr. Gwendolyn Bambalan CESO III, MGB Region II Regional Director Mario Ancheta, OceanaGold (Philippines) Inc. President Atty. Joan Adaci-Cattiling, DILG Region II Regional Director Jonathan Paul Leusen, Jr. CESO III, CHR Region II Regional Director Jimmy Baliga, and other key stakeholders pose during the launching of the Fund last July 2022 in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. The CDF aims to build community capacity and resilience as part of the additional terms and conditions of the Didipio Mine’s Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) renewal. The funding is from the additional 1.0 per cent of the gross mining revenue to meet the identified needs of the communities. Launched in July 2022, the CDF operates under seven pillars of benefit-sharing: Infrastructure Enterprise Development Socio-cultural or IP Program Capacity Building Disaster Response/Management and Environment Health Education The CDF emphasizes collaboration and partnership with relevant local government units (LGUs), community groups, organizations, Indigenous peoples, or Indigenous cultural communities to determine the plan and implementation. The Fund is underpinned by the widespread participation among multiple community stakeholders to deliver programs that have broad benefits and purpose, and to build effective partnerships to foster learning and continuous improvement. “These projects are identified through consultations with different groups and involve government agencies and organizations in the technical working group and steering committee for the implementation of the CDF, so it is participatory and inclusive,” Marjorie Idio, External Affairs and Communications Manager, said. “And as we expand the CDF’s reach beyond the host and neighboring barangays, more and more communities in the greater Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces stand to benefit from it. “We look forward to the completion, inauguration, and turnover of these projects,” she added. The other additional program for community development under the FTAA renewal is the Provincial Development Fund (PDF), which is 0.5 percent of the gross mining revenue. The PDF will benefit the provincial local government units of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.
Philippine Resources - May 22, 2023
Perfect Match Equipment for Sustainable and Efficient Nickel Mining
Photo: WEDA L110N and QAS 210PD The mining industry comes with various challenges; from scarce resources to uncertainty around commodity prices, miners are always looking at ways to overcome barriers to stay competitive. Nickel mining, for example, is mined from various depths and beneath the surface using large earth-moving equipment, the robustness and toughness of the used pieces of equipment played an important role in effective mining operations. One of the various types of equipment used in mining is the pump. While there are substantial pumps available in the market, not every pump is suitable for a mine setting. Dewatering pumps for example. These mining pumps help to ensure dry working conditions for a mining operation, it also prevents flooding alongside other environmental complications. Another pump required is the slurry pump that is used to transport slurry. The demanding condition in mining makes it important to have robust and high tolerances pumps that ensure minimal chance of failure. Mining also uses large equipment to extract, process, and transport materials. Another substantial piece of equipment for mining is generators, where the right use of suitable generators helps the industry to operate efficiently. Carrascal Nickel Corporation is a large-scale nickel mine located in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur, Philippines. The company operates under Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) granted in 2007 and began its commercial operations in 2009. Primarily engaged in the exploration, mining, and exporting of nickel laterite ore, Carrascal Nickel Corporation also believe in Sustainable Development Goal and environmental impact. These beliefs are practiced through various environmental and social development programs, also through their mining operation. Engr. Lester Marqueses The concrete examples are Carrascal Nickel Corporation is using two of Atlas Copco's WEDA L110N 79.9kW electric submersible slurry pump powered by a QAS210PD 200kVQ Prime Power generator on their Cayawyawan bridge site, together with PAS150MF vacuum pump centrifugal pumps on their Pit 2B. “Atlas Copco’s sustainable performance pumps and the less footprint generator helps Carrascal Nickel Corporation in running a more sustainable mining operations. It is also the perfect fit for our requirements.” said Engr Lester Marqueres, the Resident Manager of Carrascal Nickel Corporation. “The innovative products that Atlas Copco offered and the proactive after-sales support, ensures the continuous operation of its partner, making it convenient and efficient for our mining operations.” Engr Lester Marqueres continued. Atlas Copco just recently celebrated its 150 years of innovations. For a century and a half, Atlas Copco has been driving development and delivering breakthrough innovations to customers in many different industries. The Power Technique business area provides air, power and flow solutions through products such as mobile compressors, pumps, light towers, and generators, along with several complementary products. The business area innovates for sustainable productivity across multiple industries, including construction, manufacturing, oil and gas and exploration drilling. To know more about Atlas Copco's range of products and services, visit https://www.atlascopco.com/en-ph/construction-equipment or email powertechnique.SEA@atlascopco.com
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Philippine Resources - May 22, 2023
DOF eyes sale of more gov't assets, mining rights
Photo credit: Department of Finance The government is planning to sell more of its assets this year, the Department of Finance (DOF) said. "Last year we already sold I think something like PHP1.5 billion assets, and then for this year, we're aiming to sell more," Finance undersecretary for privatization and corporate affairs group Catherine Fong said in a briefing. Fong said they are mostly looking at real estate properties. "There's still a lot under the ownership of government under the Privatization Management Office (PMO) that we're intending to roll out faster. We're aiming for higher than last year. Definitely double that or at least higher," Fong added. She said they are aiming just for PMO properties, adding however that there are still a lot of government assets for disposition. Fong said they want to auction the 2.2 hectare Mile Long property in Makati City. "Then we're hoping to sell this year or next year some mining rights still owned by the government," she said. Fong said that for now, what's hindering the government from auctioning one of the mining rights is the verification of the content of the mine itself. "A lot of the feasibility studies are still desktop. So we're having the valuation done, but definitely there are a lot who are interested. We're being assisted right now by the German government, and we've also received offers from the US government and Australian government to assist us in assessing the value of the mines and to help us in packaging it for auction, so definitely there's a lot of local and foreign interest once we're ready to auction the mines," she said. Fong said the government currently has four mining rights. "We have four, as I understand, they're quite big, but some are still under litigation, so we're not prepared to auction it out yet, but at least one already has a clean title, so we're going with that [Basay Mine] first, but we're still in the process of validating its actual value," said Fong. Fong explained that the government is looking at not just outright auctioning the Basay Mines but also asking development partners to assist them on a possible joint venture. "There's a technical term for it in mining, some sharing agreement. We're trying to get assistance on the modern good practices in the mining industry on how to sell it, we're trying to package it in a more responsible way," she noted. By Anna Leah Gonzales Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - May 22, 2023
DPWH UPDATES CONGRESS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF LAGUNA LAKESHORE ROAD NETWORK PROJECT
A focus group meeting of the technical working group of House Committee on Ecology was organized in connection with proposed project within the Laguna Lake area. Representing Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain expressed strong support to the proposal of Congress to push the Laguna Lake rehabilitation to maximize its environmental and economic potential. Senior Undersecretary Sadain, however explained in a meeting at Alabang, Muntinlupa City on May 17, 2023 that the proposed Laguna Lakeshore Road Network (LLRN), with the DPWH as proponent, will be an outer ring high standard highway for the Laguna de Bay that will provide a faster and safer alternative for motorists traveling north or south. The focus group meeting was spearheaded by Santa Rosa City Representative and House Committee on Ecology Vice Chairperson Danilo S. Fernandez with Committee Secretary Atty. Dilbert N. Quetulio, and participated by Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) Acting General Manager Senando A. Santiago; LLDA Director Virgillio Esguerra, Project Director Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Roads Management Cluster II (Multilateral); UPMO Project Manager Zenaida B. Mauhay; and Director Hazel Iris S. Baliatan of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Others who attended are DPWH Stakeholders Relations Service Director Randy R. Del Rosario; Project Manager Olivia M. Baguio; LLRN Project Consultant Acting Team Leader Dr. Takayuki Tsuchida; and representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and other government agencies and stakeholders. Phase I of the proposed project covering 37.4 kilometers of viaduct and embankment at western side from Lower Bicutan, Taguig City to Calamba, Laguna is already at 90 percent advanced stage of detailed engineering design funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility and road construction is expected to commence by the end of the year. It will also cover the construction of eight (interchanges proposed to connect municipal boundaries to the nearest public road along Lower Bicutan, Sucat, Alabang, Tunasan, San Pedro/Biñan, Santa Rosa, Cabuyao, and Calamba). The extensive environmental survey activities fully considered the project’s impact on the ecosystem of Laguna Lake. LLRN Phase I costing ₱175 Billion will be funded through a loan from ADB which is now under review by NEDA. The feasibility study for Phase II in the northern to southern coastline via an eastern route is already ongoing and involves consultation with the concerned national government agencies and local stakeholders. Funding for the detailed engineering design of Phase II will be included in the civil works loan for LLRN phase I. The proposed third highway going south is expected to ease the traffic congestion, especially during rush hour at the Manila South Road and South Luzon Expressway to support the economic development and growth potential of the provinces of Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, and Rizal in the Southern Tagalog Region. Meanwhile, Senior Undersecretary Sadain expressed confidence that another proposed DPWH project - the Parañaque Spillway Project, will effectively mitigate flooding. The underground drainage channel connecting Laguna Lake to Manila Bay will avoid spilling of lake water into low-lying communities. The project to catch overflowing flood water from Laguna Lake before it is pumped out to Manila Bay will about 50 meters below underground traversing the cities of Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Bacoor City in Cavite.
Philippine Resources - May 18, 2023
P10.4-B funds eyed to complete Tacloban Bypass Road extension
Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways At least PHP10.48 billion more is needed to fully complete the extension of the multi-year Tacloban Bypass Road project, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said on Wednesday. Of the funding requirement, PHP1.56 billion is needed in 2024 and PHP8.92 billion for 2025 onwards, DPWH 8 (Eastern Visayas) Director Edgar Tabacon said in an interview. “As of end of February 2023, the project was 11.62 percent complete. We need more funds to finish the project within the term of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,” Tabacon told the Philippine News Agency (PNA). From 2018 to 2023, the central government has spent PHP2.32 billion to build the 33-km. road that provides an alternative highway from this city to the proposed international port in nearby Babatngon town. The allotment until 2023 allowed the opening and concreting of 1.64 km. of road. The proposed funds starting in 2024, to be sourced from the national government for inclusion in the DPWH annual budget, will cover works for the remaining 31.34 km. of the highway. The six-lane road is expected to decongest traffic along the Tacloban-Babatngon Road going to the city’s downtown, reducing travel time from 1.5 hours to only 45 minutes once completed. It involves the construction of a concrete road, a drainage system, road slope protection, and three bridges. The road is an extension of the PHP1.12 billion Tacloban Bypass Road completed in early 2022 after seven years of construction. The 6.405-km. bypass road involved the opening of the road, including a four-lane and a six-lane roadway; construction of drainage; and slope protection structures. It starts in Nula-Tula village and ends in Caibaan village in this city. By Sarwell Meniano Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - May 18, 2023
Celsius Resources receives proposed acquisition by Silvercorp Metals; plans joint $5 million raise for MCB
Celsius Resources is pleased to announce it has entered into a non-binding term sheet and a binding subscription agreement with Silvercorp Metals Inc., a Canadian-based mining company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and mining of mineral properties. Highlights Celsius Resources Limited has entered into a non-binding term sheet with Silvercorp Metals Inc. with the following non-binding terms: Silvercorp proposes to acquire all of the outstanding shares of CLA at a fixed price of A$0.03 per share in exchange for consideration comprising 90% Silvercorp shares + 10% cash. The consideration of A$0.030 (GBP0.016)1 per share represents a 76% premium to the 20-day volume weighted average price of Celsius shares as of the close of trading on the ASX on 11 May 2023 (86% premium by similar reference to the trading price on AIM). The implied value of the proposed acquisition (should it proceed) is approximately A$56 million (GBP 30.2 million)1. Using Silvercorp’s current share price of CA$4.64 (A$5.142)as of the close of trading of Silvercorp shares on TSX on 12 May 2023, the proposed acquisition will result in Silvercorp issuing approximately 9.7 million Silvercorp shares and A$5.6 million to the shareholders of Celsius. Concurrent to the proposed acquisition, should it proceed, it is anticipated that Celsius shareholders will, via an in specie distribution, receive shares in a new exploration company (the “SpinCo”) which will hold all of Celsius’ rights and interests with respect to the Sagay (Philippines) and Opuwo Cobalt (Namibia) projects via a demerger, subject to Celsius obtaining the necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals. Should the demerger proceed, the SpinCo shares are anticipated to be distributed on a 10 Celsius shares for 1 SpinCo share basis to Celsius shareholders, who taking into account the proposed investment into SpinCo referred to below, will hold approximately 87% of SpinCo. SpinCo will seek listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”) or on AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange, via the demerger and concurrent initial public offering. Silvercorp has agreed, under the non-binding term sheet, to invest A$4 million in SpinCo, valued at a post-financed market capitalisation of A$30 million. Additionally, Celsius and Silvercorp have executed a binding subscription agreement for A$5 million at a subscription price of A$0.015 (GBP 0.0081), to be primarily used as interim funding for its Maalinao-Caigutan-Biyog Copper-Gold Project (“MCB Project”) in the Philippines. Celsius and Silvercorp will now commence negotiations towards the execution of the necessary binding transaction documents and agreements which will implement the proposed acquisition. About Silvercorp Metals, Inc. Silvercorp Metals, Inc. is a Canadian mining company traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: SVM) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE American: SVM). Silvercorp has been profitably mining underground silver, lead, zinc deposits in China for 17 years and engages in the acquisition, exploration and development of resource projects globally with a focus on the sustainable, profitable, and long-term production of precious and nonferrous metals such as silver, gold, lead, and zinc. Its long-term strategy is focused on expanding mineral reserves, streamlining mine production management, achieving sustainable development, and seeking mutually beneficial opportunities globally. Through the years, it has successfully driven rapid growth and solid silver, lead and zinc production with a demonstrated and proven commitment to Environment, Social, and Governance standards while creating value for its stakeholders and shareholders. Silvercorp has a market capitalisation of US$607million with a current share price as of 11 May 2023 on the TSX of CA$4.64, and the NYSE of US$3.44. As of 31 December 2022, Silvercorp’s balance sheet is at US$210.3 million in cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments. Silvercorp holds further equity investment portfolio in associates and other companies with a total market value of US$121.8 million. (See Silvercorp Metals, Inc. website, http://silvercorpmetals.com ) Management commentary Julito Sarmiento, Executive Chairman of Celsius Resources commented: “This a positive step and timely development for Celsius and its subsidiaries. We are happy to have received an offer from Silvercorp which shares Celsius’ corporate values and our vision to develop mining projects in a sustainable, inclusive and responsible manner. Together, we have the potential to demonstrate and realise our commitments to all our shareholders and stakeholders to see the development of Celsius’ mineral assets, particularly our flagship MCB Copper-Gold Project with the Balatoc Indigenous Community in Kalinga, Philippines, through fruition. Indeed, this is a strong and favourable endorsement of the Philippines’ minerals industry under the Administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in its unrelenting drive as spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources under the stewardship of Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, a globally-renowned climate change and disaster resilience expert, towards transformative mining that genuinely protects the environment and brings about shared prosperity for all stakeholders.” The complete press release can be found HERE
Philippine Resources - May 18, 2023
FNI revenues up 28 times, reports a net income in the first quarter for the first time
Photo credit: Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. achieved Q1 2023 revenues of ₱1.1 billion and net income of ₱358.8 million, turning a first quarter profit for the first time in the company’s history. Earnings per share on net income attributable to equity holders of the company came in at ₱0.0296 compared to a loss of ₱0.0375 in the same period in 2022, mainly resulting from the commercial operations of its new mine in Palawan and the share in net income of its associate. FNI President Dante R. Bravo commented, “We had a solid start to 2023, coming primarily from our Palawan mine which benefits from medium-grade nickel ore. We expect a year of increased production, focused operational execution, and additional exploration drilling at our mine sites. Specifically, we plan to export 6.5 million wet metric tons (WMT), including 5 million WMT from Cagdianao and 1.5 million WMT from Palawan.” A total of 0.330 million WMT was shipped in the quarter, all of which are medium-grade nickel ore. The average realized nickel ore price was US$61.48/WMT and the average realized peso over the U.S. dollar was ₱54.82. In September 2022, FNI announced its first nickel ore shipment from its mine in Palawan, which is a significant step forward in establishing year-round mining operations for the company. With the successful daily operations and ramp-up in production, the Palawan mine reached its 1 million WMT production last April 29, 2023 and is set to ship its 1 millionth WMT by the end of May 2023. Additionally, the company acquired a 22.22% interest in GHGC Holdings Ltd., which gives FNI a 20% ownership in Guangdong Century Tsingshan Nickel Industry Co. Ltd, the owner of a 33-hectare rotary kiln-electric furnace processing facility in China that caters to customers from within and outside Guangdong’s Economic and Technological Development Zones. Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2022, these recent developments supported FNI’s earnings and will pave the way for a steady income stream throughout the year. Outlook The company’s financial results along with its recent operational achievements in key strategic areas point to a strong momentum going forward. On the demand side, the outlook for the nickel industry remains compelling, led by fundamental drivers such as population and income growth, urbanization, and energy transition. For more than a decade, China has been and will continue to be the world’s largest nickel consumer. In the short term, the easing of its COVID-19 restrictions as well as the reopening of the economy is expected to resume construction activity and support the recovery of demand for stainless steel and by extension on the nickel market. Additionally, China’s infrastructure investment plan can also shore up the country’s real estate sector. Reflecting these anticipated developments as well as the increasing usage of nickel in batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), intergovernmental organization International Nickel Study Group (INSG) now estimates the global demand for nickel to increase 11% from 2.89 million tonnes in 2022 to 3.22 million tonnes in 2023. In terms of price outlook, research provider Fitch Group revised up its LME spot price forecast by 10% from US$20,000 to US$22,000 per tonne for 2023, while S&P Global expects the average LME three-month price to climb 5% from a year earlier to US$26,838 per tonne. In the medium to long-term, nickel demand is projected to grow further due to its wide range of applications in renewable energy technologies and critical infrastructure including EVs, solar panels, power grid systems, wind turbines, and new technologies such as hydrogen-based energy. In fact, the World Bank identified nickel as one of the critical minerals in the clean energy transition that is cross-cutting because it is used across a variety of technologies and is not dependent on a single application. Within EVs, the World Bank finds that electric mobility has not only become key to decarbonization for several major economies, but also increasingly relevant for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) over the next few decades. Its 2023 report, The Economics of Electric Vehicles for Passenger Transportation, suggests that global policy targets such as having 30% new passenger vehicles to be electric by 2030 will offer economic and financial advantages for many LMICs, with two-wheeled vehicles and buses as cost-effective starting points to transitioning to electric mobility. Overall, nickel demand from new EV sales is expected to surge 41 times between 2020 and 2040 under the International Energy Agency’s Sustainable Development Scenario. On the supply side, Indonesia and the Philippines will predominantly be the top nickel producing countries, as was the case since 2010. Looking ahead, INSG projects global nickel output to rise from 3.04 million tonnes in 2022 to 3.39 million tonnes in 2023, creating a market surplus of 171,000 tonnes. Over the medium to long-term, the Fitch Group is of view that global nickel mine production will grow by an average of 5% annually from 2022 to 2026, with strong nickel ore output from Indonesia and Philippines this year. Inevitably, with such huge potential also comes complexity. As a major nickel miner, FNI recognizes that there are external headwinds which may have a negative impact on its performance and in the industry including fuel price spikes, natural disasters, conflicts, increased mining taxation, and other factors over which it has no control. Despite these uncertainties, the company draws strength from the resilience that the organization has already shown over the years, underpinned by its highly experienced leadership team who has operated in most market conditions, and a clear strategy to continue to deliver for all stakeholders.
Philippine Resources - May 15, 2023
PROPOSED INTER-ISLAND BRIDGE IN LUZON FEATURED AT ADB MEET IN INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA
Photo credit: the Department of Public Works and Highways Korean construction and engineering companies are interested to participate in the procurement of the design and build of a mega inter-island bridge project in Luzon. Upon the invitation of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) which organizes the Global Project Plaza 2023 to bring together foreign government organizations, contractors and financial institutions, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) represented by Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, provided a detailed briefing about the 32.15-kilometer four (4)-lane Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project that can be joined by Korean and other international companies when the procurement for the civil works roll out in the coming months. The Global Project Plaza 2023 was held in conjunction with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting in Incheon, South Korea and mostly focused on ADB related projects. In his discussion, Senior Undersecretary Sadain said that the on-going detailed engineering design (DED) of Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project is at 85 percent and target for completion by this June 2023. The Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project is being developed by the DPWH Unified Project Management Office – Roads Management Cluster 2 (Multilateral) with technical assistance funding from the ADB to advance the detailed engineering design with the DED contract awarded to the joint venture of TY Lin International and the Republic of Korea’s Pyunghwa Engineering Consultants, working with Switzerland-based Renardet and the Philippines’ DCCD Engineering Corporation. Feasibility study for the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project that was started in March 2018 was funded under ADB’s Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility Loan. Together with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), ADB has also committed to co-finance the civil works construction. As one of the promising projects featured in the ADB project seminar on the sidelines of 56th Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors, Senior Undersecretary Sadain also had an opportunity for one-on-one engagement with ADB executives and Korean engineering and construction companies. The alignment of the proposed bridge will cross over the Manila Bay – a natural harbor that is bounded by Cavite and Metro Manila on the east, Bulacan and Pampanga on the north, and Bataan on the northwest. No less than President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. with DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan led on March 31, 2023 the ceremonial switching of the button signaling the start of the geotechnical investigation in evaluating underground conditions – the last of missing pieces to complete the foundation design and deliver the final DED bridging to the new project milestone of civil works implementation. Due to the scale of the project, seven (7) design packages have been identified reflecting a convenient division of future construction packages. The construction will first begin in the two on-land packages, 5-kilometer Bataan Land Approach under Package 1 and 1.3-kilometer Cavite Land Approach under Package 2 . Packages 3 and 4 are North and South Marine Viaducts with a total length of 20.6-kilometer. The Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project includes the construction of two cable-stayed navigation bridges on either side of historic Corregidor Island. Called the north channel bridge and south channel bridge, the structures that will stand in water as deep as 50 meters will have main spans of 400 meters and 900 meters, respectively. The North Channel Bridge with high level approaches of 2.1 kilometer in length will constitute Package 5, while the South Channel Bridge with high level approaches at 3.1-kilometer length will be the Package 6. The 7th Package involves a project-wide ancillary works. New opportunities will be created by the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project, including the development of seaports in the two (2) provinces of Bataan and Cavite, making them potential international shipping gateways of the country. Once completed, the inter-island bridge which will be one of the longest bridges in the Philippines and the world will cut travel time between Bataan and Cavite from the current five (5) hours to 45 minutes. Article courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways
Philippine Resources - May 15, 2023
DOTr seeks private sector support to finance transport projects
Photo: Transportation Sec. Jaime Bautista speaks before businessmen at the Makati Business Club forum on Wednesday (May 10, 2023). He said that with limited public funds to bankroll such projects, the government could tap the assistance of the private sector. (Photo courtesy of DOTr) The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is seeking the financing support of the private sector for the construction and implementation of transport projects and programs. DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said that with limited public funds to bankroll such projects, the government could tap the assistance of the private sector. "There are many government projects that need private sector's support because the government has limited funds," Bautista said at the Makati Business Club (MBC) forum titled "F2F with Cab Secs session" on Wednesday. He identified big-ticket transport projects in the rail, aviation and road sectors where Public-Private Partnership (PPP) can be implemented. He cited the proposed EDSA Busway privatization as one possible PPP effort, as well as the construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Cebu and Davao. "We ask the private sector to support the privatization of the EDSA Busway," Bautista said. Bautista said the DOTr aviation projects in the pipeline include the improvement of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, adding other airports in the greater capital for possible PPP proponents such as in Clark, Bulacan and Sangley in Cavite. "We need additional airports to serve aviation requirements in Luzon," he said. The transport chief said that the PPP will also be a huge lift for ongoing railway projects such as the North-South Commuter Railway, Metro Manila Subway Project, MRT-7, LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project and South Long Haul Project. During the session, Bautista also shared his insights and experience working as a public servant. "When you work with government you have to work not only 20 hours but almost 24 hours. There will always be supporters and detractors but at the end of the day what is important is you did your best, you work professionally with honesty and integrity, and with that, you should be proud of yourself,” Bautista said. The session is part of MBC’s ongoing efforts to further strengthen public and private dialogue through connecting its members with the country’s key economic managers from the national government. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - May 15, 2023
Marcos renews Malampaya service contract until 2039
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday signed the renewal agreement for the Malampaya Service Contract No. 38 (SC 38) that would allow the continued production of the Malampaya gas field for another 15 years until Feb. 22, 2039. During the ceremonial signing at the Malacañang Palace, Marcos said the renewal of the contract, which was originally set to expire in 2024, is significant to achieve the country's energy security as Malampaya powers 20 percent of Luzon's energy needs. “This is the key to our drive to energy security and calculated to advance the nation’s energy interest. This project will reduce our dependence on oil imports while ensuring a stable supply of energy,” Marcos said. The 15-year extension for the Malampaya gas field concession, Marcos said, is consistent with the Constitution, and the state policy of hastening discovery and production of the country’s indigenous petroleum. He reiterated the administration's commitment to actively pursue the exploration, development, and utilization of the country’s indigenous energy resources, and to optimize the country's energy mix. “As we renew Service Contract (SC) 38, we optimistically look forward to the continued production and utilization of the remaining reserves of the Malampaya gas field, as well as further exploration and development of its untapped potential,” Marcos said. The Malampaya Project will reduce the country’s dependence on oil imports and ensure a more stable supply of cleaner energy from an indigenous source. Marcos urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to oversee the project's implementation through strict monitoring and ensuring that the consortium’s goals are aligned with the country’s national interests. DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla welcomed the renewal of SC 38, adding that the department has “meticulously evaluated” the consortium. Lotilla noted that the assessment encompassed legal, technical, and financial capabilities, and confirmed the consortium’s capacity to sustain the production operations and meet its obligations under the renewal agreement. "The DOE recommended the renewal of the service contract, anchored on the commitment of the consortium to actively explore and evaluate additional gas resources,” Lotilla said. “Through the stringent due diligence observed, the government aims to uphold responsible and sustainable energy practices while effectively managing the valuable resource that is the Malampaya gas field,” he added. This policy was first laid down in 1972 through the landmark Presidential Decree No. 87 issued by the president’s father, former president Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. From the discovery of the gas field more than three decades ago, and the project’s commissioning in 2001, the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project has been a boon to the Philippines, providing 20 percent of Luzon’s energy requirement. The Presidential Communications Office, in a news release, said through the project, the government was able to generate PHP374 billion in revenues. In 2022 alone, the project yielded about PHP26 billion in government revenues. Among the officials present during the event were House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Senator Raffy Tulfo, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil, Defense Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Prime Infra Chairperson Enrique Razon, and Philippine National Oil Company – Exploration Corporation President and CEO Franz Josef George Alvarez. By Filane Mikee Cervantes Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - May 12, 2023
KOREAN FACT FINDING MISSION SHOWS INTEREST ON SUPPORTING 4 DPWH PIPELINE PROJECTS
Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways A new loan program of the Korean Government may be tap to finance at least four (4) pipeline projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Central Luzon and Central Visayas Regions. Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, in-charge of DPWH infrastructure flagship projects under “Build, Better, More” program of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. met on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 a fact-finding mission from the national headquarters of Export–Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) comprised of Director General Chung-Hwa Cho, Director Eunjin Cho, and Senior Loan Officer Jiwon Shin for discussion on pipeline projects for possible enhance cooperation under Korean Government’s Economic Development Promotion Facility (EDPF). The meeting with the Korean fact-finding mission was also attended by DPWH Project Directors Benjamin A. Bautista and Ramon A. Arriola III; KEXIM Manila Office Country Director Jaejeong Moon, and Deputy Directors Yunhak Lee and Minjeong Kwon; and DPWH Project Managers Jerry A. Fano and Antonio Erwin R. Aranaz. In his report to DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Senior Undersecretary Sadain said that EDPF is a new Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan program of the Korean Government to cover financial gap for large-scale infrastructure. The Korea Eximbank as an independent ODA agency has the mandate to operate and manage the EDPF including identifying pipeline projects, loan approval and signing loan agreements. Pipeline projects initially selected for possible loan co-financing under EDPF and Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) or Export Credit of the Korean Government are the civil works of 28.82-kilometer Lubao-Guagua-Sasmuan-Minanlin-Santo Tomas Bypass Road in Pampanga; civil works for Pampanga Integrated Disaster Risk and Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (IDRR CCA) – Stage II covering theThird River and Eastern Branch that traverses municipalities of Macabebe, Minalin, and Sto. Tomas; detailed engineering design and civil works of 10.6-kilometer Consolacion-Liloan Bypass Road with two (2) bridges and feasibility study of Lapu-Lapu Coastal Road in the Province of Cebu. In keeping with the government’s goal of “Build, Better, More” to modernize the country’s infrastructure backbone, the rolling out of new infrastructure flagship projects will sustain rapid development and attract investments to achieve inclusive growth for all Filipinos. Meanwhile, DPWH is targeting to commence by June 2023 the detailed engineering design (DED) activities for the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges. The engineering services of the 32.47-kilometer Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges is covered by $56.6 Million in loans from the Government of the Republic of Korea . The scope of engineering services are preliminary design covering review of the feasibility study and preliminary and basic design; detailed engineering design including estimation of detailed construction cost; and procurement assistance. Composed of two (2)-sea-crossing bridges connecting Panay Island, Guimaras Island and Negros Island in Western Visayas Region, Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project will shortened travel time of commuters and motorist and transport of goods from Panay to Negros Islands through ferries/RORO of 3-4 hours to just less than 1 hour. Article courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways
Philippine Resources - May 09, 2023
DENR to implement ‘big brother-small brother’ strategy in mining
Photo: DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is mulling the implementation of a "big brother-small brother" strategy to capacitate small miners and enhance the resilience of the mining community. In a press release on Monday, DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga said they are planning to incorporate said strategy within the social development and management programs (SDMP) of large mining companies. “It is high time for big mining firms to help small-scale miners meet their social development targets by setting aside a portion of their social development fund for the purpose,” Loyzaga said. “There must be a way to negotiate the resilience of communities where mining is happening, the social development needs to happen. This way inclusivity in terms of the progress of the community as a whole can really be institutionalized," she added. To achieve this, Loyzaga emphasized the need to revisit the social development funding of large mining companies. She said that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is open to responsible miners who consider not only the environmental aspects of mining, but also promote social development. “In this government, you cannot move forward with your for-profit agenda without a national dividend that redounds to a local community. And that’s the bottom line,” she said. DENR Administrative Order No. 2010-21, or the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, requires mining contractors and permit holders to have an SDMP, which aims for the sustained improvement in the living standards of host and neighboring communities. With a timeline of five years, the SDMP is funded by the companies themselves by allocating 1.5 percent of their annual expenses. Out of this allocation, 75 percent goes to community development while 10 percent goes to the development of mining technology and geosciences, and the remaining 15 percent is used for an information, education, and communication campaign.
Philippine Resources - May 05, 2023
Marcos makes a pitch for local battery production to US firms
Photo: President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. attends one of the meetings with US businessmen in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (April 3, 2023). Marcos pitched to American businessmen the country’s plan to pursue local battery production with the help of foreign technology and capital to help solve problems in energy supply and other energy-related issues. (Photo courtesy of Bongbong Marcos FB page) President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. recently made a pitch to American businessmen the plan of the Philippines to pursue local battery production, with the help of foreign technology and capital, as a solution for the country’s problems in energy supply and other energy-related issues. During a fireside chat at the Blair House in Washington with US businessmen, Marcos underscored the great potential of local battery production as the government endeavors to move the Philippines’ energy mix from traditional fossil fuels to renewables. “And the part that batteries will play in that whole system cannot be overstated. And that is why it would be very good if we could bring the industry into the Philippines,” Marcos said, adding that battery production is an important pivot for the country with the advent of climate change. He said for the country to go beyond mineral extraction to actual battery production to prop up the local value chain, technology and strong industry participation are needed to see this materialize. “But to do that we need technology, we need of course the capital and the resources to undertake such activities. They are not small projects and so they require major funding and that again is another part of the situation that we have to deal with," he said. Marcos said there are many new instruments that encouraged this activity in the last few years such as green bonds and blue bonds and current rules have become very, very clear. In his talks with big companies, especially mining companies, Marcos said buyers of mineral products insist upon declaration of proof that the products that they are being sold were built using green energy. “And that I think is going to be an important part in making hopefully the manufacturing of batteries in the Philippines a success,” he said. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - May 05, 2023
Ipilan Nickel Corporation receives ISO certification for its Environmental Management System
Photo credit: Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. The environmental management system of Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC), the operating arm of Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. in Brooke’s Point, Palawan, has been recertified by Intertek last April 7, 2023 as conforming to the requirements of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001:2015. The management system is applicable to INC’s mining operations including Development, Extraction, Hauling, Stockyard and Port Operations of Nickel Laterite Ore and other Associated Minerals covering barangay’s Maasin, Mambalot, Calasaguen and Ipilan. “This demonstrates that we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously as we constantly find ways to minimize our impact and consider all environmental issues relevant to our operations,” said Alex Arabis, Resident Mine Manager of INC. “It also reaffirms INC’s commitment to preserving the beauty of Palawan and adherence to best practices to promote a better future for everyone.” INC, which operates a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) with the government, holds the exclusive right to conduct mining operations in the Municipality of Brooke’s Point, Palawan covering 2,835 hectares, of which 260 hectares have been partially declared as mining area. The validity of its operations has been confirmed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) stating that INC remains compliant with all its requirements. INC continually strives to work together with all relevant stakeholders to achieve sustainable development and to maximize the benefits of responsible mining.
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Philippine Resources - May 04, 2023
SMPC net income down 40% to P9B in Q1; power revenues hit all-time high
Photo credit: Integrated energy company Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) recorded a 40-percent decline in consolidated net income from P15 billion to P9 billion mostly due to high-base effect, as the company posted its highest-ever quarterly bottom line during the same period last year. Consolidated topline contracted by 29% from P29.1 billion to P20.7 billion on weaker coal contribution, offset by all-time high revenues from the power segment. Coal revenues declined by 40% from P25.7 billion to P15.5 billion mainly due to lower shipments and selling prices as the company turned cautious amid market volatility. “We limited our first-quarter exports because of the wild price swings. Now that prices have settled, we intend to boost our foreign shipments in the coming months,” said SMPC president and COO Maria Cristina C. Gotianun. “Our sales target for this year is between 15 and 16 million metric tons,” she added. Total coal shipments from January to March receded by 31% from 5.1 million metric tons (MMT) to 3.5 MMT following a 52-percent drop in exports from 3.1 MMT to 1.5 MMT and flat domestic sales (2 MMT). Semirara coal average selling prices (ASP) decreased by 14% from P5,125 per metric ton (MT) to P4,427 per MT primarily due to sluggish exports and higher shipments of lower grade coal. Meanwhile, revenues from the power businesses rose by 59% from P4.8 billion to a historic high of P7.7 billion on the back of double-digit improvements across all key operating metrics. With the commercial operation of SEM-Calaca Power Corporation (SCPC)’s Unit 2 on October 9, 2022, overall plant availability surged by 48% from 58% to 86%, while total average capacity increased by 32% from 520 MW to 688 MW. Total gross generation rebounded by 44% from 914 GWh to 1,316 GWh, as three of the four SMPCowned power plants recorded better availability and average capacity. Consequently, total power sales accelerated by 37% from 908 GWh to 1,241 GWh, bulk (71%) of which was sold to the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). Sales to the spot market expanded by 69% from 522 GWh to 880 GWh. Easing fuel prices and sluggish January demand led to a 2-percent dip in spot ASP, from P6.84/KWh to P6.69/KWh. However, higher spot sales and a 53-percent upturn in BCQ prices lifted overall ASP by 17% from P5.29/KWh to P6.17/KWh. Total spot purchases contracted by 33% from P493 million to P331 million because of better plant availability and capacity, coupled with slightly lower contracted capacity. At the end of the first quarter, only 26% of SMPC’s 720MW dependable capacity was tied to contracts, which were mostly under SLPGC.
Philippine Resources - May 02, 2023
DOTr breaks ground on 2 more Metro Manila subway stations
Photo credit: Department of Transportation Two more stations for the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) are now officially under construction following a groundbreaking ceremony led by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday. The two stations -- Quezon and East Avenues -- are under contract package (CP) 102 of the MMSP and was awarded to a joint venture between Nishimatsu Construction Company Limited and D. M. Consunji Inc. Digging and construction for the tunnel and underground stations are slated to begin on April 30 while the drilling of the tunnel boring machine (TBM) will happen sometime in the fourth quarter of 2024. The “build-only” contract consists of a 3.1-kilometer tunnel railway construction and two underground stations that aim to connect commuters to Quezon City’s central business district, government offices and private institutions. During the ceremony, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the MMSP will not only provide comfortable transportation but also generate jobs. “It will definitely be comfortable, affordable, safe, sustainable, and accessible,” Bautista said. He also thanked the Japanese government for funding the country’s first subway system. “We would like to reiterate our gratitude to the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the loan package that makes possible the very first subway train system of the Philippines,” he said. In January, the DOTr officially began the construction of the MMSP through tunneling works for CP 101 which includes the construction of a depot in Valenzuela City, and three stations. The MMSP will stretch for 33.1 kilometers and have 17 stations connecting Valenzuela City to Parañaque City, with a spur line to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City. Once completed, the subway is expected to reduce travel time between Valenzuela City and Pasay City from 1 hour and 38 minutes to only 45 minutes and is capable of serving up to 519,000 passengers daily. By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - May 02, 2023
North-South rail projects to improve quality of life: PBBM
Photo credit: Philippine News Agency The North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) system is expected to provide speedier transactions, create more quality time, and improve the quality of life for all, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Thursday. Marcos made the remark during the ceremonial contract signing for the NSCR Project - South Commuter Section CPs S-02 and S-03b at the President’s Hall in Malacañang, putting all phases of the NSCR system in full swing. "The completion of the full NSCR line will bring greater convenience for our commuters. It will offer an efficient and comfortable transport alternative that spans the great distance, connecting Pampanga to Manila and then to Laguna,” Marcos said. Aside from decongesting Metro Manila’s main thoroughfares, he said, the railway system would also spur economic activities in the interconnected regions, and the areas in between, as well as promote environmental sustainability and public health. He said more jobs shall also be generated by these rail projects. “As the civil works for these contract packages commence, we expect not only the generation of more than 2,000 jobs but also the creation of other opportunities and livelihood during its construction,” the President said. Under the administration's "Build Better More" program, the NSCR System, with a total project cost of PHP873.62 billion, is a 147.26-km. railway project that will connect Clark, Pampanga and Calamba City, Laguna. The whole system will have 35 stations and three depots composed of the original NSCR Project: Malolos-Clark Railway Project (MCRP), and the South Commuter Railway Project (SCRP). CPs S-02 and S-03b are part of the SCRP. Once completed in 2029, the entire NSCR system could reduce the travel time between Clark International Airport and Calamba City, Laguna from four hours to two hours. It is projected to accommodate 800,000 passengers a day. The NSCR System will be co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Marcos thanked the ADB and JICA for supporting the Philippine government's infrastructure priorities, as their support has been instrumental to provide safe, sustainable, and efficient public transportation for the people. He also acknowledged the contributions of the Acciona-DMCI Joint Venture, the Leighton-First Balfour Joint Venture, and the efforts of local government units involved. By Filane Mikee Cervantes Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - May 02, 2023
PHILEX MINING POSTS PHP388 MILLION CORE NET INCOME FOR 1Q2023
Philex Mining Corporation, one of the oldest and largest gold and copper producers in Southeast Asia, and a leader in right and principled mining, generated Php388 million Core Net Income and EBITDA of Php635 million for 1Q2023 against the backdrop of favorable gold prices and foreign exchange rates that kept them within safe margins as a continuation from the previous year. However, lower metal output held back these positive trends. The production level in 1Q2023 realized operating revenues of Php2.105 billion, lower than the Php2.528 billion for the same period in 2022. Gold prices in first quarter were higher at US$1,889 per ounce while copper was slightly lower at US$4.00 per pound. Operating costs were slightly lower than 1Q2022 at Php1.636 billion. PRODUCTION Tonnage milled for 1Q2023 was 6% lower at 1.706 million tonnes from 1.822 million tonnes in 1Q2022 as the Company continues to address issues with the grinding equipment at the mill plant. The requested replacement parts have already been ordered. Ore grades for Gold and Copper continue to hold to the same levels as in 1Q2022. Gold output for 1Q2023 was 17% lower at 10,062 ounces versus 12,097 ounces in 1Q2022. On the other hand, Copper output for 1Q2023 was 11% lower at 5.531 million pounds versus 6.181 million pounds in 1Q2022. OPERATING EXPENSES AND EBITDA Total operating costs and expenses for 1Q2023 stood at Php1.636 billion, at a similar level for the same period in 1Q2022 at Php1.655 billion. The increases in the purchase costs of the materials 3 and supplies as well as equipment parts and repairs were offset by the continued implementation of the efficiency measures in operations. Higher power rates increased operating costs and expenses despite lower production level. EBITDA generated for 1Q2023 reached Php635 million, or 46% lower than the Php1.182 billion in 1Q2022. OUTLOOK AND THE SILANGAN PROJECT The current global commodity outlook has turned bullish for Gold – in the face of geopolitical risks, recession and economic uncertainty – but bearish for Copper, in spite of the latter’s foreseen surge in demand due to its use in green technology. Price levels though were sustained within safe margins, has provided the Company with the breathing space to pursue its recovery program and much-needed repairs on its ageing equipment. Development works on the Silangan Project in Surigao del Norte are currently underway and are on schedule with completion of the construction of the east decline portal towards the end of the 1Q2023. Final preparations for the commencement of the development of the tunnel is on-going with the arrival of tunnelling equipment and accessories. Tunnelling works will commence in May 2023. The Company will likewise continue with its funding plan for Silangan commenced last year with the Stock Rights Offering. This involves a debt syndication effort and fresh capital infusion from the Company’s cash reserves. The Company is in the final stages of the debt syndication process with several financial institutions. “We will continue to push the frontier of the Silangan development, pursue improvements towards our recovery program and sustain the extension of the life of our Padcal mine,” according to Philex President and CEO Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. “Resilience is still the name of the game as we look for other business opportunities and for more participation in the ‘green metals space’. Time and again, the Company and its people have shown that they were able to withstand the challenges of the times with much fortitude, and this year won’t be any different.”
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Philippine Resources - April 30, 2023
Business growth prompts PCML relocation to accommodate more projects up north
Photo: Joint site inspection together with project owner COHECO team, and PCML technical team at COHECO hydropower project in Benguet. Peregrine Construction and Management L.L.C., Inc. (PCML) has moved its corporate office from Pampanga to Baguio City, Benguet. The move brought about PCML’s business growth up north with its continuous projects leading to civil works, tunneling, and roadworks catering to hydroelectric power and mining companies. The relocation will enable PCML to maintain closer contact with its customers in the northern region. While it still maintains a newly constructed satellite office at BDDAN Corporate Center located in Angeles City, Pampanga which serves as its administrative office. PCML is a growing stable company that has been in the business since 2006. It specializes in civil works, tunneling, slope protection., roadworks, and construction management. The company has been investing in heavy equipment in the last four years to support its increasing civil works projects. One of its recent big-ticket ongoing project is the 30 km. pilot access road of Cordillera Hydroelectric Power Corp. (COHECO) a 60MW run-of-river hydroelectric power project situated in the province of Benguet. Over the years PCML’s capabilities have been evolving and continued to offer diverse services to its clients both public and private entities. PCML aims to penetrate and grow markets in the hydropower and mining industry.
Philippine Resources - April 28, 2023
Malacañang Recognizes the 2022 PMIEA Recipients
Photo: Company officials of the 2022 PMIEA recipients with DENR Secretary M.A. Yulo Loyzaga, Executive Secretary L.P. Bersamin, and COMP Vice Chairman Mr. G.H. Brimo Recipients of the 2022 Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) represented by their company officials attended the Ceremonial Awarding held at the Bonifacio Hall of the Malacañang Palace last April 20, 2023. The Executive Secretary of the Philippines Hon. Lucas P. Bersamin, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, and Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) Vice Chairman Gerard H. Brimo officially awarded the prestigious 2022 PMIEA trophies to the company representatives during the ceremony. The event was also participated by the PMIEA Selection Committee members and representatives, MGB Central Office officials and personnel headed by OIC Director Atty. Danilo U. Uykieng and Chief of Policy, Planning, and International Affairs Division and OIC Assistant Director in concurrent capacity Engr. Teodorico A. Sandoval, PMIEA Technical Working Group led by the Chief of Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division Engr. Marcial H. Mateo, and Regional Directors of MGB Regional Office Nos. II, III, IV CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, IX, X, and XIII. In her Welcome Address, DENR Secretary M.A. Yulo Loyzaga affirms the Department’s commitment towards responsible mining through the implementation of pro-people, pro-environment, and science-based legislation, policies, and programs. The DENR Secretary reminded the 2022 PMIEA recipients to always raise awareness of the mining industry’s vital contributions towards an inclusive and sustainable future. Executive Secretary L.P. Bersamin also recognized the importance of the mining sector as one of the government’s partners in long-term economic growth. By supporting the economic recovery of the country through their initiatives from the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the current administration acknowledges the valuable role of the mineral sector in achieving its goals for the Filipinos. The Executive Secretary emphasized that the PMIEA is ultimately bestowed by and should always be for the people. Pursuant to Executive Order No. 399, series of 1997, the PMIEA is given every year to mining groups and companies that have shown exemplary performance in safety and health management, environmental protection and enhancement, and social and community development. The 2022 PMIEA were conferred to the following Contractors/Permit Holders during the Ceremonial Awarding: Article courtesy of the DENR