rml to explore for cu au ag

  1. 221 Posts.
    Monday, October 27, 2008
    Agency endorses mine exploration proposals
    By Bong S. Sarmiento

    KORONADAL CITY -- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Central Mindanao endorsed three applications to explore copper, gold and silver deposits in the area, an agency official confirmed recently.

    Hernani G. Abdon, records and licensing division chief of the regional Mines bureau, said there are 43 other pending applications to explore the region's vast mineral deposits.

    Abdon said the application for exploration sites in Sultan Kudarat by the Fil-Asian Strategic Resources and Properties Corp. and that of the Southcot Mining Corp in Tampakan, South Cotabato has been approved by the regional office.

    "Final approval shall be given by our main office after which they can already start exploration activities," Abdon said, adding that these firms were given regional endorsement after submitting necessary requirements, including a memorandum of agreement with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

    Firms applying for exploration permits need the free and prior informed consent of the tribal communities covered by their projects. The process is facilitated by the NCIP.

    Fil-Asian, through its president Paul B. Azarcon, seeks to explore copper, gold and silver deposits in 3,397 hectares in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat and 3,227 hectares in the boundary of Lebak town and Kalamansig, also in Sultan Kudarat, records showed.

    The company's exploration bid is backed by Australian firm Rusina Mining N.L., Abdon said.

    On the other hand, Southcot Mining filed for an exploration permit in 3,217 hectares straddling the towns of Tampakan, Malungon in Sarangani and Kiblawan in Davao del Sur, according to the regional office's report.

    Southcot Mining is a Class B shareholder (no voting rights) at the Tampakan copper and gold project pursued by Sagittarius Mines Inc. Swiss miner Xstrata Copper owns 62.5 percent of the Tampakan project, touted as the largest undeveloped copper deposit in Southeast Asia.

    Sagittarius holds a financial or technical assistance agreement issued by the National Government, covering an original area of 99,387 hectares in the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur.

    Abdon said the area being eyed by Southcot Mining for exploration is just near the mines development site of Sagittarius, which now retains 27,945 hectares after relinquishing part of the original size in 2004.

    Last year, there were 33 exploration permit applications filed at the MGB office in this city, the seat of regional government of Central Mindanao, earlier data from the same agency showed.

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    (This section is updated every Monday)

    (October 27, 2008 issue)
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