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Tampakan copper-gold project to benefit locals: solon
by Philippine Resources - May 20, 2022
Photo credit: Sagittarius Mines Inc.
Senator Francis Tolentino said the Tampakan copper-gold project being pushed to resume by Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) in Tampakan, South Cotabato will be beneficial to local residents.
Tolentino said on Thursday the Tampakan copper-gold project will be "cost-effective" and safe.
"Cost effective yung extraction ng open-pit mining kasi mababaw lang ang paghuhukay niyan eh, makukuha agad yung mina (The open-pit mining extraction is cost effective because the excavation will be shallow and the mine will be easily extracted)," he said in "Sa Ganang Mamamayan" program of Net25.
Tolentino, however, said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should see to it that the rehabilitation plan will be properly implemented.
"Ang nakikita ko lang dito, ganon din siguro sa mga outlying communities, sundin yung rehabilitation plan kung meron man yung DENR. I-monitor naman ng DENR, huwag pabayaan ng DENR. Dapat nakatutok lagi sila. (What I can see here, just like maybe the outlying communities, follow the rehabilitation plan if DENR has. DENR should monitor, DENR must not ignore. They should always focus)," he said.
After the Tampakan copper-gold project halted four years ago, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed in April 2021 the lifting of the moratorium on open-pit mining.
The South Cotabato Provincial Board also lifted its ban on open-pit mining giving the SMI a go-signal to proceed with its stalled USD5.9-billion project.
DENR Acting Secretary Jim Sampulna vowed they will ensure that SMI will comply with its rehabilitation obligations and environmental protection, assuring that the environment will not be sacrificed.
"We will also require SMI to invest in equipment and manpower to ensure mitigation in case of any adverse impacts from the mining operation,” Sampulna said.
According to SMI, the Tampakan project is noted as one of the largest untapped copper and gold minefields in Southeast Asia.
The mining company expects the project to yield an average of 375,000 tons of copper and 360,000 ounces of gold per year. By Wilnard Bacelonia
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - July 07, 2021
South Cotabato to Reassess Tampakan Copper-Gold Project
South Cotabato officials will take another look at the delayed USD5.9 billion copper and gold project of Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) in Tampakan town in the wake of the government’s move to accelerate its operations amid the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said on Monday they will evaluate anew the proposed mining project even as he reiterated the local government’s stance to only allow “responsible mining” operations in the province. He confirmed that he met late last week with officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) led by Undersecretary Jim Sampulna to discuss the status of the mining project. “The government wants to push through with the pending mining projects, including the one in Tampakan, to help our economy recover,” he said in his weekly radio program. Also present in the meeting were Assistant Secretary Nonita Caguioa, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) acting director Wilfredo Moncano, MGB-Mining Tenements Management Division chief Danilo Deleña, and MGB-Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division head Marcial Mateo. Tamayo said he has no problem with mining as long as it is done responsibly, and that the people and the environment are protected in the process. He said that has been his long-time stance and those of the previous top officials of the province, which has a standing ban on open-pit mining as set in the Provincial Environment Code approved in 2010. But he said SMI officials declared in a recent meeting that they are no longer pursuing the controversial mining method. Tamayo said he asked them to make another formal presentation to the provincial government, especially to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan or provincial board, regarding their proposed mining operation. “We want to see all the angles of what they are planning to do in Tampakan,” he said. The Tampakan project, which started in 1995, failed to take off as planned due to various problems, among them the ban on open-pit mining in the province. The Regional Trial Court Branch 24 in Koronadal City dismissed in October last year a petition for declaratory relief and injunction filed by pro-mining groups against the provincial government over the open-pit ban. The mining project, once approved, “would be the largest in the Philippines and among the largest copper mines in the world,” a company briefer said. It estimated an average yield of 375,000 tons per annum of copper and 360,000 ounces per annum of gold in concentrate over a 17-year period of mining and ore production. The proposed mine site covers around 10,000 hectares situated in the boundaries of Tampakan, South Cotabato, and Kiblawan in Davao del Sur. Article Courtesy of Allen Estabillo - Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - May 17, 2022
SoCot OK lifting of open-pit mining ban
Eleven of 15 members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of South Cotabato approved Monday the lifting of the ban on open-pit mining in Tampakan town. The copper and gold mine project in Tampakan is touted as the largest in Southeast Asia. (Photo courtesy of SP South Cotabato) The majority of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) members approved Monday the amendments to the environment code of South Cotabato province, particularly the provision on the lifting of the ban on open-pit mining in Tampakan town. Voting for the ban's lifting were SP board members Glezel Trabado, who acted as presiding officer in the absence of Vice Governor Vicente de Jesus, Larry de Pedro VI, chairman of the Environment Committee, Dardanilo Dar, Noel Escobillo, Antonio Fungan, Eamon Gabriel Mati, and Henry Ladot. Also backing the move were Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representative (IPMR) Edgar Sambong, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK)Federation president Alaisa Marie Fale, Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) president Rolando Malabuyoc, and Philippine Councilors League (PCL) South Cotabato Chapter president Grace Achura. Board Member Ester Marin Catorce, who opposed the amendment and was designated by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) as acting governor, was absent during Monday’s regular session. “None of them objected, as acting governor by the rule of succession I cannot attend the session. Governor Tamayo is out of the country while Vice Governor Vicente De Jesus, who underwent an operation, was not present,” Catorce said. Catorce said she asked a colleague to defer the deliberation of the amendment because of the many issues that still need discussion. Her request, she said, was not granted. SP members Ellen Grace Subere-Albios and Jinky Avance-Samodal, who also both opposed the open-pit mining operation, were also absent in the regular session. Ordinance 04, Series of 2010, entitled “An Ordinance Providing for the Environment Code of the Province of South Cotabato,” was passed on June 9, 2010. In 2015, SP filed a resolution affirming the open-pit mining ban in the province. Pro-mining groups earlier said the open-pit mining ban in South Cotabato hampered the development of the copper and gold mine project in Tampakan, touted as the largest in Southeast Asia. Anti-mining groups, however, said the project endangered not only the environment but also the lives of residents. Sagittarius Mines Inc. has been pursuing the Tampakan gold project for years. By Roel Osano
Philippine Resources - May 23, 2022
Body formed to study revision that lifted SoCot mining ban
Photo: South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. Photo from the South Cotabato provincial government Facebook page The South Cotabato government has created a Technical Working Group (TWG) to study the Sangguniang Panlalawigan's (SP) amendment to the province's environment code that lifted the open-pit mining ban. In an interview Friday, South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said his decision on whether to veto or not the lifting of the open-pit mining ban will depend on the TWG’S recommendations Tamayo said he has yet to receive the amended ordinance. Within 15 days, the governor can veto or approve the amendments to the province’s environmental code before it lapses into law. “An Ordinance Providing for the Environment Code of the Province of South Cotabato” was passed on June 9, 2010. “For now, I cannot say because I don’t want to preempt the decision and findings of the TWG, but I assure you that we are looking at what is good for everybody,” Tamayo said. In a meeting Thursday with Bishop Cerilo Alan Casicas of the Diocese of Marbel, who supported the open-pit mining ban, the governor said the provincial government must consider several issues and concerns before arriving at a decision. “Quarrying is part of an open pit, and what the SP approved in Lake Sebu is also an open pit. It will be contradicting if the open-pit mining ban will not be lifted,” Tamayo said. “We will sit again together with the Bishop and Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) to talk about what is right or wrong, and it is important that I can come up with the decision two days before the deadline,” he noted. Meanwhile, Casicas said he hopes the governor will decide "based on the wisdom of the majority" of South Cotabato residents. During Thursday's meeting with the governor, the bishop led a group of some 3,000 protesters to the provincial grounds. “The most important factor is the wisdom of the people more than our voices and SMI,” Casicas said. Meanwhile, Board Member Ester Marin Catorce, an anti-mining advocate, denied the amended ordinance was recalled by the SP majority group. On Monday, 11 of 15 SP members approved the measure to lift the 12-year-old open-pit mining ban in the province. The SMI has been pursuing the Tampakan gold project in the province for years amid stiff opposition, primarily from the local Catholic diocese. By Roel Osano Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Marcelle P. Villegas - November 24, 2022
Energy Transition for Oil, Gas and Coal Sectors
Most industries are dependent on fossil fuels to operate. However, in response to climate change, there is a global trend that encourages countries to join in the energy transition of using green technologies. While in theory, this strategy looks promising and feasible. However, in some countries, like in the Philippines, this is a major challenge. This was the scope of the roundtable discussion (RTD) last 4th of May 2022 during PH-EITI Conference with the Department of Finance and Department of Energy. The theme of the event was "Preparing the Extractives for Energy Transition".
Philippine Resources - November 15, 2022
Celsius obtains Social License to operate for the MCB Project
Photo credit: Celsius Resources Limited Celsius Resources Limited is pleased to announce that one of its Philippine subsidiaries, Makilala Mining Company, Inc. (“MMCI”) has obtained the consent of the Balatoc Indigenous Cultural Community (ICC) for the development of the Company’s MaalinaoCaigutan-Biyog (MCB) Copper-Gold Project (“MCB” or “the Project”). After a series of consultations and negotiations, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between MMCI, the Balatoc ICC, and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) was officially signed on 14 November 2022. The MOA represents the collective decision of the Balatoc ICC for MMCI to carry out exploration, development, production, and operation activities at the MCB Project area. It also outlines the commitments and obligations of all parties to the agreement as well as the economic, social, environmental, and cultural benefits of the Project to the Balatoc ICC during the life of the mine. Pasil Municipal Mayor Alfredo B. Malannag, Jr. was elated with the outcome and expressed: “This is a historical moment as it reflects the aspirations of the community for the future of the Balatoc Tribe. With MMCI at the forefront of development, our dreams of harnessing our natural resources without sacrificing our future and the environment will soon be realised. We have partnered with MMCI since their first exploration in the area in 2006 and the community has established a very good relationship with them.” Kalinga Provincial Governor James S. Edduba shared the same sentiment: “This is a happy occasion, and I am excited with the many possibilities that will happen to this community with the signing of the MOA. Growing up in the place, I can personally attest to life with and without a mining company. I was the Mayor of Pasil when Makilala Mining started their exploration. We have gone a long way and MMCI has been instrumental in the development of the community. I believe that this partnership will help develop the community further as this is such a big investment in terms of business and employment opportunities, overall progress and other benefits.” The Company considers obtaining the consent of the Balatoc ICC to be a crucial aspect for the development of the MCB Project, as it represents a social license to operate which is anchored on legitimacy, credibility, and trust. MMCI President Atty. Julito R. Sarmiento expressed: “The signing of the agreement signifies the commitment of the Company to do right by the Balatoc ICC. We have always ensured that we abide and respect the customary laws and traditions of the community in all aspects of our engagements, to demonstrate our strict adherence to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles and best practices consistent with our firm commitment to Transformative Mining.” Article courtesy of Celsius Resources
Philippine Resources - November 15, 2022
Apex Mining’s 3Q2022 RESULTS UP 277% YoY
Photo credit: Apex Mining Apex Mining Co., Inc. is enjoying the fruits of its continuous expansion program with both the 3Q2022 and 9mo2022 results at an all-time high. Production for the 3Q2022 stood at 26,962 oz for gold and 100,899 oz for silver. The volume was 35% and 15% higher, respectively, than previous year’s production. The Maco mine milled 209,585 tonnes, 14% higher YoY with daily mill throughput of 2,334 tpd with mill grades of 4.02 gpt for gold and 18.72 gpt for silver. In the 3 rd quarter, the foreign exchange rate averaged P56.62 vs P50.30 from 3Q2021 or an increase of 13%. The resulting gross revenues for the third quarter was P2.743 billion, an increase of 43.8% YoY. Consolidated net income for 3Q2022 amounted to P897.95 million vs net loss of P624.35 million for 3Q2021, a 244% increase YoY. During the 3Q2021, the Company recognized P1.1 Billion provision for impairment of property and equipment and deferred exploration costs of non-operational local and foreign subsidiaries of Monte Oro Resources & Energy, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Apex. For the 9mo2022, total production was 73,219 oz gold and 291,333 oz silver or an increase of 36% and 12% respectively. Realized prices were $1,817/oz for gold and $21.62/oz for silver, a change of +2% and -13% respectively. Milling throughput for the Maco Mine Site was 601,730 tonnes or 2, 299 tpd for the 9mo2022, as compared to 514,008 tonnes or 2,017 tpd for the same period in 2021. The weighted average foreign exchange rate during the comparative period was P53.85 and P49.03 to one USD, a gap of 10%. The resulting gross revenues for the three quarters of 2022 was higher at P7.51 billion compared to the same period in 2021 at P4.99 billion. The net income (loss) for the three quarters of 2022 and 2021 was P2.46 billion and (P135.73) million. Net income grew 1,913% YoY. Disaster relief is among the cornerstones of Apex Mining’s corporate citizenship initiatives. As the third quarter was drawing to a close in September, typhoon Karding battered Luzon. In tandem with the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA), though Pusong Minero, Apex Mining’s president and CEO, Luis R. Sarmiento, ASEAN Eng., who is also the president of PMSEA, condoled with the families of the five Bulacan PDRRMO rescuers who perished while conducting rescue activities during the said tropical depression. At the Luksang Parangal of the Bulacan Provincial Advisory Group for Police Transformation and Development, the families of the late rescuers received cash assistance. Earlier, in August, the four classrooms built by the GMA Kapuso Foundation, in part through a P2M donation by the company, was turned over to the students and teachers of the Baybay Elementary School in the island of Siargao (Siargao, including Baybay Elementary School, was badly hit by typhoon Odette in December 2021). Apex Mining found itself displaying its unique brand of malaskit yet again as the final quarter of 2022 opened with typhoon Paeng wreaking havoc in regions 5, 6, 8, 12 and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Still under the Pusong Minero program of the PMSEA, the company, together with concerned local governments, immediately deployed much needed supplies like drinking water, sleeping mats and sacks of rice to select areas badly hit by Paeng. The distribution of sleeping mats is a joint effort with the province of Davao de Oro, where Apex Mining’s Maco Mine is located. Article courtesy of Apex Mining
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