Groups back $5.9B mining project
A number of business groups in Mindanao are throwing their support behind the proposed $5.9-billion Tampakan copper-gold project of Sagittarius Mines Inc., citing the many benefits that this could bring to Mindanao.
One of the groups, the Junior Chamber International-Durian City, noted that the mining industry could help spur economic growth in the country by attracting new investments, creating jobs and reducing poverty.
Mining companies just had to adhere to responsible mining practices that placed great emphasis on environmental protection and preservation and on social equity, JCI Durian City said.
The Pagadian-ZDS Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc. (PZCCIFI), on the other hand, noted that the $5.9-billion proposed mining project had the potential to generate $5.4 billion in additional national taxes and $2.2 billion in local taxes and royalties.
The group said it appreciated project proponent Sagittarius Mines Inc.’s (SMI) support for education, community health and environmental programs in the areas covered by its mining project.
JCI Durian City is part of the 6,000-strong Junior Chamber International chapter in the Philippines while PZCCIFI is composed of business organizations and individuals in Zamboanga del Sur aiming to promote a positive investment climate in Mindanao.
Both groups are urging the Mindanao Development Authority to grant SMI’s Tampakan copper-gold project flagship project status.
Other business groups supporting the call included the Regional Development Council XII, the Dipolog Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Mindanao Development Council and the Metro-Cotabato Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation.
The proposed Tampakan project is covered by a financial and technical assistance agreement between SMI and the national government, through the Mining and Geosciences Bureau.
SMI documents showed that the Tampakan project area had the potential to produce 13.5 million tons of copper and 15.8 million ounces of gold.
The copper-gold mine was also projected to generate $37 billion in export earnings and 2,000 full-time jobs, based on SMI data. During the construction period, the project could provide employment to as many as 10,500 people, the majority of them members of the host communities.
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