Marcventures to develop bauxite mine in Samar
Listed nickel miner Marcventures Holdings Inc. (MHI) is set to develop a mining property in Samar for its bauxite properties.
Once approved by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, this will make MHI the only firm in the country with bauxite as a mineral commodity.
According to MHI president Isidro Alcantara, the company has set aside P2.5 billion to develop the project, adding that the company was expecting the issuance of its environmental compliance certificate (ECC) by the first quarter of next year. Construction is projected to be completed in two years.
MHI acquired the bauxite mine in Samar in 2016 after a merger with Asia Pilot Mining Philippines and the holding company of Brightgreen Resources Corp. Asia Pilot owns two mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs) covering 12,129 hectares while the Brightgreen group owns a separate MPSA with an area of 4,860 hectares.
Bauxite is a highly valued commodity used for aluminum production. Aluminum alloys are vital to several industries including aerospace, transportation and construction.
Countries such as China, Australia and the United States are big users of aluminum while the main sources are Australia, China, India and Brazil.
“We will be going into discussions with potential partners because there is no experience in bauxite mining here in the Philippines,” Alcantara said. “Aluminum applications are rising, demand for it is rising and prices are very good.”
Aside from developing a new mining area, MHI is also looking to expand its mining operations in Surigao with a budget of P250 million. The property will be connected to the firm’s existing facility and infrastructure in the area and is expected to increase the company’s reserves substantially.
Despite disruptions caused by the pandemic, 2020 has been a good year for MHI. For the first half of the year, it reported a net income of P137.52 million, reversing a net loss of P258.54 million in the same period last year.
Alcantara said the turnaround was due to the company’s increased tonnage as well as the significant reduction in its mining overhead costs.
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