Business: ‘Hinobaan’s Copper Resource Hiked to 339 Million Tons’
The gross copper resource at the Hinobaan copper project in Negros Occidental has increased to 339 million tons, according to a report of a mining firm basedin the United Kingdom.
The Copper Development Corp. (CDC), in its report last week, said this estimate represents an increase of 19.7 million tons at 0.35 percent copper for 57,000 tons of copper metal above the estimate announced in October last year.
The upgrading of Hinobaan’s mineral resource estimate for the copper project is expected to enhance the economic potential of the mine, CDC said.
Last April, CDC said it was looking for buyers or partners for the Hinobaan project in which it holds 92.5 percent.
Several big mining firms are exploring southern Negros Occidental, particularly in the hinterlands of Sipalay City and Hinobaan, for copper, gold, and other minerals.
Among these companies are the Philex Mining Corporation, the Maricalum Mining Corporation, and Selenga Mining Company.
CDC said the new mineral resource estimate prepared by Mining Associates Pty Ltd (Australia) was based on the drilling conducted from 2010 to 2011 of a total of 34,228 meters in the site.
Meanwhile, Sipalay Mayor Oscar Montilla said last week his city is projected to earn P300 million in additional taxes annually, or P100 million per mining firm, if the three mining companies resume their operations there.
Montilla disclosed that Philex Mining Corp., owned by business tycoon Manny Pangilinan, is now conducting exploration works, while the Selenga Mining Company is working on its project study.
But the Maricalum Mining Company, which still owes P50 million in taxes to Sipalay city government, has no statement yet on who will take over its management, Montilla said. Pangilinan earlier said that the Bulawan Gold Mine may resume mining operations in Sipalay City in the next two to three years.
Philex Mining is conducting detailed mapping and geochemical surveys of areas under three projects - the Vista Alegre in the western side of the Bulawan, the Bulog, and the Cayas exploration project.
Montilla added that the three mining firms will also generate employment of 6,000 workers.
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. had earlier said the reopening of the mines will boost the economy of southern Negros.
The governor assured environmentalists that the provincial government will ensure that requirements for environmental protection are strictly complied with by the mining companies.* (DBDangcalan/with a report from The Philippine Star)