Tampakan mine to start soon despite Glencore pullout – Alsons

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 05 2014 07:51 AM | Updated as of Feb 05 2014 03:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Alsons Energy Development Corp. (AEDC) of the Alcantara Group said it expects the Tampakan mine project to commence operations despite the pullout of Glencore-Xtrata from the project.

Sought for comment on the decision of Swiss mining firm Glencore to pull out from the project in Mindanao, Alsons executive vice president Tirso Santillan said the decision may have delayed the project but is unlikely to hamper its operations.

“While recent development may have resulted in the delay of the commencement of the Tampakan project, we anticipate that the Tampakan mine will eventually commence operating in the future,” Santillan said.

AEDC, a subsidiary of publicly-listed Alsons Consolidated Resources, earlier said it would put up a 400-megawatt facility in Sarangani to supply power to the $5.9-billion copper-gold mining project.

Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), the operator of the mining project, selected AEDC as its preferred power generation supplier for the mine.

He said the further development of the prospective 400-MW power station to service the Tampakan mine project is contingent on the mining project pushing through.

Glencore-Xstrata plans to divest its majority interest in the Tampakan copper-gold project in Mindanao, according to its joint venture partner Indophil Resources NL.

“The restructure of SMI (Sagittarius Mines Inc.) is complete, with a new plan and significantly reduced expenditure. All indications point to Glencore-Xstrata seeking to divest its majority interest in the Tampakan copper-gold project,” Indophil said in its quarterly report to the Australian stock exchange.

Glencore has a 62.5-percent stake in SMI, the operator of the Tampakan copper-gold project. The remaining 37.5 percent belongs to its partner Indophil.

AEDC’s power plant, which is targeted for completion in 2016, will be constructed at the Kamanga Agro-Industrial Ecozone in Brgy. Kamanga, Maasim town.

Based on the timetable, the facility is expected to become fully operational by mid-2019.