King-king mine likely to start production in 4 years

by Miguel R. Camus, BusinessMirror

Posted at Nov 14 2012 08:11 AM | Updated as of Nov 14 2012 04:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The proponents behind the massive but undeveloped King-king gold-copper project in Compostela Valley in Mindanao expect the mine to start production in 2016, a recent investors’ presentation made by Canada’s St. Augustine Gold and Copper Ltd. showed.

St. Augustine, which is the foreign partner of Nationwide Development Corp. (Nadecor) in King-king project, said in its presentation that the preliminary feasibility study will be completed this year while the “permitting process” is expected to be completed by the third quarter next year.

The King-king project is listed as one of the top priority projects by the Philippine Mines and Geosciences Bureau. The measured and indicated mineral resources of the project are 10.3 million ounces of gold and 5.4 billion pounds of copper, St. Augustine said.

Based on its presentation, St. Augustine expects average annual production for the first five years to reach 267 million pounds of copper and 395,000 ounces of gold. The projected mine life is estimated at 22 years with an additional three years of processing low-grade stockpiles.

The venture also plans to develop a “dual processing plant on a high-grade front-end mine plan.”

The family of Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. holds significant interest in the King-king project after recently acquiring equity stakes in both St. Augustine and Nadecor.

Villar owns 25 percent of Nadecor and executed option and private placement agreements to acquire up to 23.7 percent of St. Augustine, which is listed in the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Other major shareholders of St. Augustine include Russell Mines and Minerals Inc. (with 23.9-percent interest) and CGA Mining (15.9 percent), information from St. Augustine’s presentation showed.