Sagittarius wins tax case
Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), holder of the financial or technical assistance agreement for the Tampakan copper-gold project in Mindanao, said it received favorable decision on a tax case it filed against a local government of South Cotabato.
SMI said in a statement the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) last month issued a resolution i stopping the implementation of an order released by a local regional trial court allowing the Tampakan local government unit (LGU) to collect up to P400 million from SMI.
SMI said the tax collection case stemmed from the “local government’s wrongful assessment” of almost P400 million in local permits and levies on the company even if it is not yet operating the mine.
The company made the statement after a non-government organization assailed the CTA resolution is only valid for 20 days.
The Tampakan copper-gold project straddles four provinces in Mindanao, including South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur.
SMI said it also has received the free, prior and informed consent of the Blaan indigenous peoples and communities in the project area and despite not being operational, has invested P1.4 billion in community development and corporate social responsibility programs for its host communities.
The Tampakan mine prospect is said to be one of the largest undeveloped mineral deposits in the entire Southeast Asia.
It has an estimated reserves of 15 million tons of contained copper and nearly 18 million ounces of gold or 375,000 tons of copper and 360,000 ounces of gold in concentrate annually, over a proposed 17-year mine life.
By Jed Macapagal