Benguet Corp. has suspended all activities in its Kingking copper-gold project in Pantukan, Compostela Valley.
This was disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday by Benguet as it explained that the suspension would be in effect until a dispute with its mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) co-contractor Nationwide Development Corp. (Nadecor) is resolved.
According to Benguet, “the suspension is intended to give the company relief from the effects of the pending dispute which frustrates the performance of its obligations under the MPSA, while the parties are exploring possible resolution.”
Benguet said it remains committed to developing the Kingking project and is prepared to resume its activities “as soon as possible.”
Nadecor filed last year a complaint with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources seeking the removal of Benguet as operator of the Kingking project.
Nadecor, along with a few other minority shareholders of Benguet, have been questioning the failure of Benguet to disclose certain financial transactions. These include the arrangements for a financial advisor and negotiations for an investor in the Kingking project.
The Kingking project is located in the eastern part of Mindanao, approximately 20 kilometers northeast of Pantukan, Compostela Valley. It is a gold-rich copper porphyry deposit with total resource estimated at approximately 350 million tons.
The property has an approved MPSA with the government and has the most advanced level of geological information.
It has been identified as one of the top 10 priority mining projects of the DENR.–Marianne V. Go, Philippine Star