Didipio Mine Project Feasible; DENR Gives Green Light on Controversial Venture

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Byline: CEASAR M. PERANTE

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya a" Pro-mining groups backing the Didipio gold-copper project located on the border of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino are now jumping with joy after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) approved the venture.

DENR ordered the approval of the Partial Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (PDMF) for the Didipio gold-copper of the Australasian Philippines Mining Inc. (APMI).

In a belated copy of the order obtained by Manila Bulletin, which Environment Secretary Michael Defensor approved on October 11, 2005, the PDMF of the Didipio gold-copper project has been issued subject to four conditions.

The first condition orders that the mining operations shall confine within the project area as stipulated in Condition No.1 of the Revised Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) dated August 6, 2004.

Any increase in the production output and coverage area in the succeeding years of the mining operations under the FTAA, shall be subject to amendment of the said ECC pursuant to the Environmental Impact Statement System (EISS).

In the implementation of the project, APMI shall ensure that the contractual obligations under the FTAA are fully complied with, including the reporting requirement in accordance with the permanent provision of DENR Administrative Order No. 96-40.

The conduct of mining operation in the contract area subject of the PDMF shall undertake in accordance with existing applicable laws, their implementing rules, regulations and the permanent provisions of the FTAA.

Mineral exploration activities outside the 975-hectare portion of the contract area shall continue to pursue in accordance with the conditions governing the first renewal of the exploration period of the FTAA.

"This is a landmark event for our company, clearing the way for us to complete debt financing and concentrate offtake agreements," said Climax Mining Ltd. CEO Robert Thomson.

On June 20,1994 FTAA No. …