MRL Gold inks joint venture deals for Batangas mining projects

By Marianne V. Go, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 28 2009 02:59 AM | Updated as of Feb 28 2009 10:59 AM

MRL Gold Philippines Inc. has entered its separate joint venture agreements with two foreign firms for its gold and copper-gold projects in Batangas and Surigao.

In a presentation yesterday at the Mining Financial Forum hosted by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines MRL Gold Philippines president James Anthony Climie, said his company has signed a joint venture agreement with British Avocet Mining PLC for the development of its Kay Tanda, Batangas gold project.

Over the next two to three weeks, Climie said they are set to sign a separate agreement with South African-based Gold Fields for its other copper-gold project also in Batangas.

These deals, Climie said, has raised $450,000 which MRL will put into drilling high priority gold and copper-gold prospects in the Surigao district.

MRL is keeping to itself some of its gold and copper-gold projects in Surigao.

Climie said joint venture deals with Avocet and Gold Fields will reduce to 25-percent MRL’s shareholding in the Batangas projects.

However, Climie said that MRL is willing to be diluted as long as “we keep our projects moving along.”

For its nickel project in Surigao, Climie said MRL has decided not to finance the advancement of that project at this time and is instead looking for an alliance with a Chinese stainless steel producer.

The objective, Climie said would be to have the end-user finance development of a nickel processing plant in return for equity in the project, and secure long-term supply of nickel.

Drilling for its two projects in Batangas, Climie said, could start by the first quarter this year.