T’boli miner to expand processing plant

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 25 March) – A Canadian company backing a gold mining project in T’boli, South Cotabato is seeking to raise around C$5 million or nearly P200 million for the expansion of its processing plant, an executive said.


Robert Butchart, chief executive officer of Cadan Resources Corp., said that plans are up to increase the processing plant’s capacity to 200-250 tons per day (TPD).


“We anticipate the ramp up to this production rate to take about four months from closing of current fundraising,” he said in an email to MindaNews.


Last January 16, Cadan announced that it has completed the sale of an additional C$2 million of convertible debentures as previously announced on January 4, 2013. The convertible debentures and warrants are subject to a four-month hold period expiring May 15, 2013.


When combined with the previous closing, the company will have accepted $4,460,700 in gross proceeds for the convertible notes, it added.


A debenture can be converted into stock at the option of the holder and/or the issuer at a specified date in the future.


Currently, the T’boli project’s mineral processing plant has a capacity of 40 TPD, a company statement two weeks ago said.


Throughout 2013, the company is expecting to generate 100 to 200 TPD of ore from the mine site through tunnel mining method, it added.


Cadan is the foreign partner of Tribal Mining Corp., holder of Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) 090-97-XI that covers an area of 85 hectares (ha) and Application for Mineral Production Sharing Agreement 51-XI involving 2,908.24 ha.


The Canadian firm holds a 40-percent direct interest in Tribal Mining, with the former having an exclusive right to process the ore pursuant to an earlier mineral processing option agreement.


Two months ago, Cadan disclosed that the T’boli project holds bigger deposits at 3.8 million tons, containing 1.1 million ounces (Moz) of gold and 3.3 (Moz) of silver.


Previously, the company placed the deposits for the T’boli project at 2.4 million tons, containing 420,000 ounces of gold and 1.6 million ounces of silver.


Constancio Paye Jr., Mines and Geosciences Bureau director for Region 12, said that Tribal Mining was granted last October an interim Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility that allowed the company to go into commercial production.


Butchart said the initial commercial production at the company’s carbon-in-leach processing plant in T’Boli hauled 316oz of gold and 497oz of silver, for a combined sale value of $547,032, or roughly P21.7 million.


The average prices for the metal sold late last year were C$1,680/oz for gold and C$32.50/oz for silver, he noted.


Deposits at the T’boli project are being mined using the tunneling method. The South Cotabato provincial government has banned open-pit mining method across the province.


Citing the environmental compliance certificate issued to Tribal Mining, Paye earlier said the company is allowed to mine and mill only up to 70,000 metric tons of ore from the project area annually.


Tribal Mining’s MPSA 090-97-XI straddles the 21-ha “minahang bayan” (people’s mining site) declared as such by the provincial government in 1994, under then governor Hilario de Pedro III.


Tribal Mining and the small-scale miners have yet to fully resolve the issue. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)