Small miners to pursue RP projects

Published by rudy Date posted on February 7, 2009

Several “junior” miners have assured the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) that they are proceeding with their mineral exploration activities even in the face of a global economic slowdown.

In an interview with newsmen, MGB director Horacio Ramos said several small firms have assured him of their continued investment and exploration activities, contrary to expectations.

Among the recent visitors to the MGB are TVI Resources Development Inc.,  Cadan Resources Corp., Royal Co, FCF-Metalex and Red 5 Limted.

Ramos said that just last week TVI briefed the MGB on their Canatuan sulfide project in southern Mindanao. He said company officials assured them that they will be operational in the next few months following a $30-million infusion.

TVI is a subsidiary of Canadian TVI Pacific.

Another Canadian firm, Cadan Resources, would proceed with their exploratory activities in eastern Mindanao, Ramos said, adding that the company claims to have secured the necessary funding for its exploratory activities even before the global economic downturn.

Cadan is looking for copper and gold.

Australian firm Royal Co. is also determined to proceed with its exploratory activities in the country, Ramos continued.

Royal Co is interested in a joint project with Oxiana.

Another Australian firm, Red 5 Limited, Ramos said, is proceeding with its exploratory activities for gold deposits in Surigao.

FCF-Metalex, likewise, is continuing with a feasibility study on its gold project on Run-Runo in Nueva Vizcaya.

The DENR had acknowledged just last month that it would have to downsize its mineral sector targets in the next few years in view of the global economic slowdown.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose L. Atienza, at the recently held Mining Financial Forum hosted by the Chamber of Mines, said the DENR is “downsizing” its mining investment targets in the face of the global economic slowdown which has caused some mining investors to delay or reduce their planned investments in Philippine mining projects.

Ramos said that for 2008, the initial investment target of $850 million is not likely to be met with the figure now expected to be closer to $650 million.

The actual investment level for 2008, Ramos said, has not yet been completely collated.

For 2009, Ramos said, the original target of $1 billion is likely to go down to around $800 million.

Chamber of Mines president Philip Romualdez agreed that there would be a delay in meeting government-set mining targets.

Romualdez said that projects and companies that had secured their funding prior to the credit meltdown would have no problem proceed with the project.

However, junior firms that have not lined up their financing, Romualdez warned, would likely have trouble funding their mining projects.–Marrianne V. Go, Philippine Star

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