UK mining firm secures two exploration permits

UK mining firm secures two exploration permits

Another British-owned mining firm, Semco Exploration and Mining Corp. has been granted two exploration permits by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to search for gold, copper and other minerals in Agusan del Norte.

Semco is 99.98-percent owned by Semco Minerals Plc, is investing a total of P6.325 million to conduct a two-year exploration of mine sites in Cabadbaran and Tubay, Agusan del Norte.

The first EP covers an area of 422 hectares in Cabadbaran and Tubay, Agusan del Norte for which Semco is allocating P3 million for a two-year work program plus a separate P300,000 for the counterpart environmental work program (EWP).

The EWP is a deposit to fund the rehabilitation of the area and the community in the event that the project is abandoned.

The other EP covers a larger area of 1,181 hectares also located in Cabadbaran and Tubay in Agusan del Norte.

Semco is allotting P3.325 million to a two-year work program for the larger mine site.

Earlier, the DENR had also granted two exploration permits for MTL Philippines, Inc. which is also owned by a British firm Metal Exploration Plc.

MTL’s exploration is concentrated in Nueva Vizcaya.

The entry of MTL and Semco is an indicator of increasing British interest in the Philippine mining sector.

Previously, most of the mining interest came from Australia and Canada.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose L. Atienza said he is trying to ensure that local government units in the provinces where there are mining interest would not impose additional taxes and fees on activities of the mining firm.

Differences in policies between the LGUs and the National Government agencies, Atienza warned, would only scare off foreign investors.

He said investors, cannot work in an environment wherein “one day you are welcome and the next day you’re kicked out.” – Marianne V. Go/Philstar


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