MANILA, Philippines – Nationwide Development Corp. (Nadecor) can finally proceed with its joint venture with a foreign firm for its copper-gold project in Mindanao after completing a settlement with former partner developer Benguet Mining Corp.
In a press conference on Wednesday, September 4, Nadecor chairman Robert Romulo shared that the joint venture between them and Canadian firm St. Augustine Gold and Copper Limited could now move forward with the King-king Copper-Gold Mining Project in Pantukan, Compostela Valley.
Benguet turned over its operating rights to Nadecor following the final settlement for the King-king Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) two years ago.
St. Augustine paid Benguet $18,250,000 in full settlement for the King-king MPSA on August 30, 2011, but turnover of settlement documents to Nadecor was delayed due to Nadecor’s intra-corporate dispute.
The internal scuffle between Nadecor’s major shareholders and minority shareholder was recently resolved by the Philippine Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court (SC) on February 18 and 19, respectively.
Minority shareholder Jose Ricafort contested the legitimacy of the elected Board of Directors during the annual stockholders meeting in August 15, 2011.
The decision of the higher courts removes any doubt on the authorized representatives of Nadecor: Romulo and a majority of elected directors, including Nadecor president Conrado Calalang.
King-king is one of the largest underdeveloped copper-gold deposits in the world and the second largest mining project in the Philippines, next to the troubled Tampakan project.
Calalang is optimistic about the project’s employment prospects. “Hopefully, we will provide 3,000 jobs in the area,” he said.
So far, a Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS) on the project has been completed. Its launching date is yet to be decided.
St. Augustine’s legal counsel Kee Ming Chi believes in King-king’s potential to be “a world project.” The foreign company also sees Nadecor as “a long time partner.”
St. Augustine’s support
St. Augustine announced on June 28 that it had acquired new shares representing 25% of Nadecor at $43.5 million.
St. Augustine is listed on the main board of the Toronto Stock Exchange. It discovers, explores and develops valuable mining assets around the world.
The Manny Villar group’s Queensberry Mining and Development Corp. is a shareholder of St. Augustine, holding 18% shares it acquired in May 2013. – with reports from Cecilia Cabiao/Rappler.com