THE Philippines Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has approved the Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF) for St Augustine Copper and Gold’s King-king Copper-Gold Project in Mindanao. The approval, which was awarded to St Augustine’s joint venture partner, Nationwide Development Corporation (NADECOR), is the last major permit required to initiate development, construction and operation of the King-king mine.

Through the order NADECOR has been authorized to proceed to the development and operating stages of its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) which includes the extraction and sale of copper, gold and associated minerals within the 1548 hectare MPSA area.

Receipt of the DMPF is a significant milestone and coupled with the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued in February 2015, enables St Augustine and NADECOR to jointly begin development, construction and operation of the King-king mine in accordance with approved plans and strategies.

The DMPF approval was achieved subsequent to the receipt of the ECC and represents five years of comprehensive technical, environmental, social and community engagement efforts by NADECOR, St Augustine and related advisors.

NADECOR president Conrado T Calalang said, “I am exceptionally proud of this achievement and the diligent efforts made by the project team and the MGB representatives, who reviewed and approved the project designed to international best practice and standards.“

St Augustine president and CEO Paolo A Villar said, “Receipt of the DMPF removes the last significant hurdle to move forward with the development of the King-king project and represents our most significant milestone to date. We look forward to working with NADECOR and all local stakeholders to take King-king to the next stage of development.”

With the approval of the DMPF, NADECOR and SAGC will work cooperatively to advance the project to construction followed by operation of the mine. Development of the project is expected to have positive impacts for all project stakeholders and the community at large, and has been designed to minimize any environmental impact.

Subsequently NADECOR has been issued its Certification Precondition from the Philippine National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). This attests that NADECOR satisfactorily complied with the process requirements under the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 and NCIP Administrative Order, otherwise known as the FPIC Guidelines of 2012, for obtaining free prior and informed consent of the Mansaka Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples for the project. The precondition was based on the Memorandum of Agreement signed by NADECOR and the Mansaka Tribe in May 2015.

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