Preliminary works at PH largest copper mine in Mindanao start
MANILA – Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), the developer of the Tampakan copper-gold project in Mindanao, said it is ready to start construction in the fourth quarter of the year.
"SMI had secured all major approvals to develop and operate the Tampakan copper-gold project. We are ready to start construction in 2023 and produce our first copper concentrate in 2026," SMI external affairs and communications manager Roy Antonio said in a statement on Wednesday.
Antonio said SMI already commenced with early works which include land acquisition and access roads.
"These are pre-construction activities," he said.
Antonio said that for the first 10 years of its operations, Tampakan project is expected to contribute a total of PHP76.6 billion in national taxes, PHP4.8 billion in local taxes, and PHP6.6 billion in royalty for the Blaan indigenous people.
The project is also expected to employ around 2,500 workers during the three-year construction period and 1,000 employees during operations in over 40 years of mine life.
The proposed mine site covers an area of about 10,000 hectares and is located between the towns of Tampakan, South Cotabato and Kiblawan, Davao del Sur in southern Mindanao.
The Tampakan mine would be the largest in the Philippines and among the largest copper mines in the world.
"SMI has invested around PHP31 billion in developing the Tampakan copper-gold project and provided (even if not operating) PHP2.582 billion in national taxes, PHP38.780 million in local taxes and PHP1.4 billion in community and social development programs and activities," Antonio said.
Meanwhile, SMI announced that it recently obtained its 2023 business permit from the municipality of Tampakan.
In a separate statement, the mining firm said the business permit was issued after paying PHP24,579 in regulatory and other fees.
The Court of Tax Appeals earlier suspended the implementation of an order issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Koronadal City, South Cotabato, which upheld the bid of the municipality of Tampakan, South Cotabato to collect over PHP400 million alleged deficiency taxes from SMI.
By Anna Leah Gonzales
Philippine News Agency
August 2, 2023