Mine firm signs deal with indigenous people
TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) said it has entered into a memorandum of agreement with leaders of the indigenous Subanen people in Zamboanga del Sur related to the development of the Balabag gold-silver project.
TVIRD said in a statement that Subanen leaders Lucenio Manda and Casiano Edal signed on behalf of their people last Aug. 19 following two months of “exhaustive public consultation” supervised by the National Commission on Indigenous People.
The pact means that the Subanens of Bayog town have given their free, prior and informed consent or FPIC, a regulatory requirement for mining concerns, in relation to the company’s mineral production sharing agreement area covering 4,779 hectares in Sitio Balabag.
“Based on its success in Canatuan, we believe in TVIRD’s capability to implement development (in Bayog),” Manda said in a statement.
He was referring to the company’s flagship copper and zinc project in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, which came on stream in 2004. The Canatuan mine wrapped up operations earlier this year.
In October 2013, Canadian firm TVI Pacific said its local affiliate TVIRD had secured the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for the proposed Balabag project.
“Receipt of the ECC confirms [that TVIRD] has satisfied the requirements of Presidential Decree No. 1586 and its issue comes upon recommendation of the Environmental Management Bureau,” the company said in a statement. PD 1586 established a system of environmental impact assessment for the mining industry.
The Calgary-based firm said results of drilling done in 2011 showed that the mineral resource in Balabag was estimated to be 1.78 million tons, with an average grade of 2.34 grams of gold and 72.3 grams of silver a ton.
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