Sagittarius Mines Eyes 2019 for Tampakan Start

Sagittarius Mines, the operating company that is developing the Tampakan copper-gold project on Mindanao island in the Philippines, has provided the national gov-ernment’s Mining Industry Coordinating Council with an updated project develop-ment plan that outlines the potential for commercial production to begin in 2019. The company had previously estimated that production might start in 2016.

A joint venture between Xstrata Copper (62.5%) and Indophil Resources NL (37.5%) holds a controlling 40% equity interest in Sagittarius Mines. The 60% non-controlling equity shareholders are Tampakan Mining Corp. and Southcot Mining Corp., known as the Tampakan Group of Companies.

Sagittarius President Peter Forrestal said, “The Tampakan project has experi-enced a number of challenges since we submitted our mine project feasibility study. These have included restrictions on field activities resulting from security issues in the project area; the need to reconsider our preferred power supply options for the project; the on-going uncertainty created by a provincial ordinance [banning open-pit mining] that is in conflict with national law; and the denial of the Mine Environmental Compliance Certificate by the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which is currently under appeal to the Office of the President.

“Given strong local community support, if local government endorsement and final approvals from the national government are forthcoming, then subject to an invest-ment decision by Sagittarius shareholders, construction could potentially commence in 2015, enabling commercial production in 2019.”

The Tampakan project is situated on the boundaries of four provinces: South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, and Davao del Sur. It is based on one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the Southeast Asia-Western Pacific region. Resources total 2.94 billion mt, containing 5 million mt of copper and 17.6 million oz of gold at a 0.2% copper cut-off grade.

As featured in Womp 2013 Vol 01 -