$235M to fund exploration-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- If all requirements are met, the Far Southeast Project will move to the exploration stage in Mankayan town.
An update to the Provincial Board Monday afternoon bared long-term plans if permits and licenses from the government, as well as community consent, give final nod to South African mining firm, Goldfields.
Goldfields has earmarked P235,494,276 for possible exploration work which may last for four years, 10 percent (P23.5 million) will automatically be allotted for community development projects.
After successful acquisition of approval from elder leaders in the highland town, Far Southeast Gold Resources Inc (FSGRI) is currently working on the approve Free Prior and Informed Consent Memorandum of Agreement with the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the Mankayan local government unit for final endorsement proceedings.
Goldfields will also have to secure approval for an Exploration Work Program with MGB as well as endorsements from the local government unit to finally approve the conversion to a Foreign and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA).
FSGRI through Lepanto applied for an FTAA with the MGB who in turn referred it to the NCIP for the conduct of FPIC in community. Now that the FPIC yielded a "yes" from the community, FSGRI is closer to have a 60 percent stake in the Far Southeast Project.
The acquisition of an FTAA license allows a foreign corporation to legally own and control a majority stake of large-scale mineral resources in the Philippines and is a contractual condition to the exercise by FSGRI of the Lepanto option.
Community Projects implemented from 2011 to the present include human resource and institution building; enterprise development and networking; access to health services; facilities and professionals support program; assistance to infrastructure development; and support service protection and respect of socio-cultural values.
The Far Southeast ore body is located under the Victoria and Teresa Mines currently being operated by LCMC.
If the company goes into exploration phase and finishes it in the allotted time table of four years, another eight years will be dedicated to the construction and development stage of the actual mine area needed for the operation and production stage which is estimated to span 50 years before mine closure and rehabilitation.
FSGRI is aiming for a long-term partnership for sustainable development of Mankayan town.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 03, 2013.