By Joe Palabao
October 11, 2010
GENERAL Santos Cityâ€“â€“With an estimated resource totaling to 2.4 billion metric tonnes at a grade of 0.6% copper and 0.2 grams per ton gold, the Tampakan deposit is one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the Southeast Asia-Western Pacific region. Experts say the Tampakan mine has the potential to become the largest mine in the country, and the fifth largest copper mine in the world by 2016.
The multi-billion dollar project is being undertaken by the Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) which today holds a Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) with the Philippine government to explore and develop the project.
SMI operates the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in Mindanao as a joint venture between Xstrata Copper, a global diversified mining group in London and Swiss stock exchanges acquiring (62.5%) share, Indophil Resources NL, an Australian-listed exploration company with (34.2%) share.
The project is expected to contribute USD37 Billion (PhP1.85 trillion) to the Philippine economy over the life of the mine. The project will have the potentials of creating more than 12,000 jobs during the mine construction and actual operation.
The Tampakan Mine Project is approximately 50 kilometers of north General Santos City and it straddles the boundaries of the four provinces of South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, and Saranggani.
The Project involves the development and operation of an open-pit mine and associated infrastructure within the proposed mine lease boundary.
A port, power station and filter plant to service the Tampakan Mine Project and a copper-gold concentrate pipeline system, electricity transmission line system and ancillary access roads connecting the Tampakan Mine with the port, power station and filter plant and a substation.
In a related development, the SMI will manage the Tampakan project with the aim at delivering industry-leading returns for their shareholders.
The project can be achieved through genuine partnerships with employees, customers, shareholders, which are based on integrity, co-operation, transparency and mutual value-creation.
To date the Project has benefited the host municipalities and surrounding communities in terms of employment, business development projects, taxes and fees.
In 2009, it has contributed PhP830.6 million to Mindanao economy through employment of more than 1,300 people and contractors, including a weekly average of 202 local community residents working on the projectâ€™s drilling, annual wages, local purchase of goods and services, power and fuel charges, community partnerships, sponsorships and donations.
SMI has also complied with the national regulatory framework for indigenous peoples (IPs) in respecting Indigenous Peoples Rights, and is committed to adopting the best available technologies and management practices on the natural environment and continues to demonstrate its commitment to corporate social responsibility by contributing to the social, economic and institutional development of the concerned communities being developed.