Xstrata to study Philippines copper/gold project
the Tampakan copper/gold project, in the Philippines. In an alliance with its Philippines affiliate, Sagittarius Mines (SMI), Xstrata Copper would review the results of all previous work programmes associated with the extended prefeasibility study. SMI stated that its funding shareholders had approved the $74-million feasibility study phase, which would entail a detailed engineering study to determine whether the project would advance to development stage.
The decision to develop a major copper mine at Tampakan will depend on the outcomes of the feasibility study, which will examine the economic, social and environmental viability of this project,” said SMI president, Peter Forrestal.
Partners in the Tampakan project include Xstrata Copper, who holds a 62,5% interest, Indophil Resources NL, which holds a 34,23% interest, and Alsons Corporation which holds a 3,27% interest.


Metals Exploration’s Runruno gold-molybdenum project endorsed by Philippines President Arroyo; shares soar

Metals Exploration PLC (AIM: MTL) said the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) for the Runruno gold-molybdenum project on the island of Luzon in the northern Philippines has been signed by order of President Macapagal-Arroyo, thus upgrading the project from its previous exploration permit status.
Shares rose 8.3 percent in early London trade on the news, outshining an otherwise depressed market.
This is a major step-change for developing the project, setting up a partnership between Metals Exploration and the Philippine government, designed to allow the company 100 percent ownership of the project, while developing the mineral resource in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
The FTAA ensures security of title for 25 years with an option to extend for a further 25 years. It provides Metals Exploration with a tax holiday for up to 5 years following commencement of production until it has recovered its pre-operating expenses and investment.
In order to qualify to construct a mining and processing operation under an FTAA, a development investment of at least US$50 million is required.
in March 2009, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza had endorsed the company’s application to upgrade Runruno to an FTAA to President Arroyo.Managing director Jonathan Beardsworth commented: "This award of the FTAA is an enormous breakthrough for the company. It secures our legal title to Runruno for 25 years, with an option to extend for a further 25 years. The FTAA clearly sets out our rights and obligations in respect of Runruno and will allow us to continue project development with reinforced confidence. It should also materially alleviate any concerns there may be as to country risk, since it is a contract at law between ourselves and the government and cannot be terminated, save as provided in the contract.”
The currently defined JORC-compliant resources at Runruno are 2.0 million ounces of gold and 34.4 million pounds of molybdenum - of which 756,000 oz Au and 17.2 mlb Mo (over 37 percent of the contained gold, and almost 50 percent of the contained molybdenum) are classified as measured and indicated resources. At present, this resource extends along 1.5 km of strike, and consists mostly of flat mineralised lenses lying some 100-150 metres below surface. A pre-feasibility study released in November 2008 estimated that Runruno could mine and treat 3 million tonnes of ore per annum, grading 2.09 g/t Au and 0.056 percent Mo, to produce 183,000 oz of gold and 1.7 mlb of molybdenum a year during an initial mine life of nine years. Mining will be straightforward using a conventional truck and shovel operation. Waste rock will be used first to construct the tailings facility, but thereafter will become backfill for the mined-out areas of the pit, which will reduce the environmental footprint of the mine.In a note issued after the announcement, Hanson Westhouse said the FTAA award was the final regulatory hurdle before the company can commence construction at Runruno.The final hurdle to the project entering production is financing, post the completion of the BFS. However, Hanson Westhouse does not expect that the company will have any trouble organising financing for Runruno, especially with the backing of its major shareholder, Solomon Capital Ltd.