LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Far South East Gold Resources Inc. (FSGRI) is urging the Provincial Board here to endorse its Mankayan project.
"We trust that we were able to provide the information to the Sangguniang that you need to endorse the project, as stressed in the presentation, the project does not impact Mankayan alone but the knock on benefits for the whole Benguet province, the region and the country would be substantial should the project be successful and progress to a large modern mine," said FSGRI site manager Peter Dunkley in a letter to the Provincial Board.
FSGRI submitted the letter as well as the Free Prior and Informed Consent project report by Nora Chulipa of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
"It is respectfully recommended that a certification of precondition be issued for the conversions of 305.00085 hectares and 82.15365 hectares of Mineral Process Sharing Agreement (MPSA) into Foreign and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA), including the renewal of the FTTA and exploration, development and construction and utilization or production phases of the FTTA," Chulipa said.
FSGRI is batting for conversion of the MPSA into a FTAA so the mining firm can continue to explore using the MPSA issued in 1990 to conduct exploration.
The FTAA is needed by company to be able to own a majority of shares. At present, FSGRI is 60 percent Lepanto and 40 percent Gold Fields.
The company has earmarked P235,494,276 for possible exploration work, which may last for four years, 10 percent (P23.5 million) and automatically allotted for community development projects.
FSGRI was in the Provincial Board meeting weeks ago, presenting the project to the board and hoping for their go signal.
In Mankayan, the company has been met with protests from groups. FSGRI has to secure approval for an Exploration Work Program with MGB as well as endorsements from the local government unit to finally approve the conversion FTAA.
The acquisition of an FTAA license, which allows a foreign corporation to legally own and control a majority stake of large-scale mineral resources in the Philippines, is a contractual condition to the exercise by FSGRI of the Lepanto option. 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.