A landslide near the Nadecor/St Augustine Gold and Copper's King-king Gold Project on April 22 has not affected exploration and field studies. The event occurred to the north of the operational area following heavy rain.
St Augustine's management understands that a village of unauthorized and unregulated miners, known as small scale miners, on the side of the mountain was impacted. Several fatalities have been reported, other individuals have been rescued with injuries, and still an unknown number of missing miners and family members remain to be accounted for.
Heavy rain storms are common in this area and additional landslides on the public road have hampered access to the slide area. The Municipality of Pantukan has taken the lead on the rescue operation in conjunction with local police and military.
At the request of Pantukan Mayor Celso Sarenas, St Augustine and Nadecor employees and equipment have been assisting the municipality with the rescue and recovery effort. St Augustine equipment was essential in re-opening the public road which allowed rescue activities to be expedited.
The missing were mostly unauthorized and unregulated gold miners and their families who have long been warned to stay away from the landslide-prone area. Authorities have closed some of the tunnels to discourage illegal mining. As relayed by Mayor Serenas, “We have warned them (unauthorized small miners) repeatedly of the danger there but they wouldn't listen.”
The Nadecor/St Augustine operations have five operating diamond drill rigs and one reverse circulation rig on the King-king tenement area along with associated road maintenance and drill support equipment. These operations are in support of resource infill drilling, metallurgical, environmental and geotechnical studies for the bankable feasibility study of the King-king deposit.
Nadecor/St Augustine efforts have taken precautions to mitigate any chance that drill access road building and maintenance would cause a slide such as this. The current landslide event near the King-king exploration program is unrelated to current activities. St Augustine does not believe their areas of operations are in any danger of slides and activities continue on schedule.
As a result of this event, recent small slides in which loss of life occurred, as well as the 2009 event in which 29 lives were lost, Nadecor and St Augustine will accelerate the King-king environmental geo-hazards study so that the preliminary findings can be presented to Mayor Serenas and Compostela Valley Province Governor Uy for further consideration about the safety of the populace.