Canadian explorer Rugby Mining says everything is in place to begin a drill program at the Motherlode deposit within its priority Mabuhay Gold Project in the Philippines, however the company is awaiting a routine MPSA application approval before drilling can start.

Mabuhay, in Surigao province, hosts the Motherlode high grade epithermal gold target and a gold-copper porphyry target at depth. Rugby’s president Paul Joyce says the company expects an approval before the end of the year.

“We remain very enthusiastic about the potential of the project and are frustrated at the administrative delay. Almost no new titles have been granted during the past year while the exploration industry awaits a new Executive Order for the Mining Industry. The Motherlode drilling program is planned to commence shortly after the MPSA application approval,” he says.

The company holds an option to acquire up to 80% of the Mabuhay project which is considered to have excellent potential for the discovery of both epithermal gold deposits and gold-copper porphyry systems.

Mabuhay is about 12km south of Surigao city, the capital of Surigao del Norte province. The project was formerly known as ‘The Mindanao Mother Lode Mine’ which produced about half a million of ounces of gold between 1937 and 1953. The Motherlode target is in the centre of the project and Rugby believes a major porphyry discovery exists potentially below the historic workings.

Rugby is also planning drill programs at its South American projects including the Comita copper porphyry tenement in Colombia, the Rio Chico gold-platinum-palladium-copper project in Argentina and the Interceptor copper-gold project also in Argentina.