AN Australian mining firm had expressed interest in investing and taking part in the establishment of Mt. Diwalwal as a mineral processing industry zone, said a Philippine Mining Development Corporation (PMDC) official.
PMDC president and chief executive official (CEO) attorney Alberto Sipaco, Jr. said there were several foreign and local investors who expressed interest in developing the gold-rich mining area.
It was only this huge Australian mining firm, whom he declined to name yet, expressed serious intent to invest, Sipaco said during the Kapehan sa PIA on Friday, January 5.
“We have conducted negotiations and out of these negotiations, they are even willing to give commitment fee. Commitment fee serves just like a permit for them to come to Diwalwal and conduct the mining activity. They have even doubled their commitment fee. And they said that with the Victory tunnel to be developed and explored, they would even build a tunnel that is 6 meters by 6 meters and connect it with the municipality of Boston,” Sipaco said.
The conversion of Mt. Diwalwal as a mineral processing zone was included in the memorandum of understanding signed by the PMDC and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza). Sipaco said they are currently hastening the development of the 8,100-hectare area.
“This development means sharing the responsibilities of PMDC with Peza and
the invitation of investors to develop the reservation area. Beyond this new alliance, however, we focused on exploiting and developing the area and still the major obligation of the government,” he said.
As the area will be converted into a mineral processing plant and investors will be allowed to put up mineral processing plants, Sipaco said the future generation can benefit from this project.
He added in this project PMDC will spearhead the operations and will not be relegated to foreign investors which in turn will result to a more sustainable and more responsible mining.
Sipaco also said they have envisioned that about 150-hectare at Mt. Diwata will be made a gold refinery area, gold processing plants, and resorts with the intention of attracting tourists.
“This is going to be a mining legacy. For the area that is known to be the gold find of the century… It is here where responsible mining hinges on government policies,” he said.
As PMDC supports the government’s mining industry direction towards a more responsible mining and sustainable development, Sipaco said they also support the stopping of mining operation using mercury and cyanide.
He said their partnership with Peza has the main objective of changing the image of Diwalwal and making it attain moral ascendancy through responsible mining.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on January 09, 2018.
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