UK firm gives up on PH mine project
London-based ECR Minerals Plc has given up its option for a deeper involvement in the Danglay gold prospect—formerly called Itogon—in Benguet because of what it perceived as a lack of government support for the domestic mining industry.
ECR said it would cease to be operator of the Danglay project, in which it has over the past few years earned a 25-percent interest that it expected to be in the form of a shareholding in Cordillera Tiger Gold Resources Inc.
The company had an option to earn another 25-percent interest in Cordillera Tiger through more investments, but ECR let go of such “earn-in” option.
“A new government took office in the Philippines on [June 30],” the company said in a statement. “Since then, the new administration has not adopted a supportive stance toward the mining industry and in view of this, the directors believe the termination of the earn-in option is appropriate.”
ECR said that as operator of Danglay, it has done “significant exploration programs” in the area in 2014 and 2015, which led to results showing an initial inferred mineral resource estimate “and a promising target for further exploration.”
Inferred resources refer to mineral reserves that are economically feasible to extract.
Exploration results so far showed that Danglay has 1.2 million tons of material that could yield 60,500 ounces of gold.
ERC said the target for further exploration could have up to 170,000 ounces of gold.
“Cordillera Tiger continues to await the issuance of the final renewed Exploration Permit (EP) comprising the Danglay project,” the company said.
“Within 15 days of receiving the renewed EP, Cordillera Tiger will be required to submit various documents to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in the Philippines and provide proof of its financial capability in respect of the exploration and environmental work plans submitted to the MGB in connection with the EP renewal,” it added.
ECR said the budget for these plans—to be implemented over the two-year term of the permit—amounted to about £270,000 or P16.4 million.
“As a result of the termination of the Earn-in Option, ECR is no longer the operator of the Danglay project and has no further financial obligations in respect of the project,” ECR said.
“Discussions with Tiger International regarding the future of the project, including funding for any further exploration activities by Tiger International or parties other than ECR, have been initiated,” the company said.
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