TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corp. has started implementing a P1-million hog-raising project for the livelihood of 40 of the 67 households in a host village, and as part of its social program in relation to an exploration activity between 2014 and 2016 at the company’s Bumolo Prospect, in Itogon town’s Brgy. Ampucao.
A total of P650,000 will be released to 23 families in Brgy. Ampucao’s Sitio Sta. Fe by January, to cover the purchase of piglets, including their feeds and medicines for four to five months, through the village’s residents’ group called SQUALA, or Sta. Fe Quarry Livelihood Association.
“This is the least we can do to our partners in responsible mining as well as our host and neighboring villages—adhere to implementing various social and environmental projects for better communities,” Roy Mangali, AVP at Philex Mining and assistant resident manager of Padcal mine, said.
Ferlyn Caslangan, area coordinator for special projects at Padcal’s Community Relations (ComRel) Dept., said an initial budget of P350,000 was released to SQUALA, led by its president, Abel Magamba, last July. The money covered the purchase of piglets, plus their feeds and medicines, for 17 families.
The rest of the households in Sta. Fe had not opted to avail of this livelihood project, Caslangan added, but stressed that these families could avail of financing—for whatever livelihood projects they would want to pursue later on—from SQUALA, which shall receive P20,000 per year over three years from each of the 40 family-beneficiaries, who will raise the money out of their hog-raising business.
She also said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), which regulates the mining industry and is under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), had approved the implementation of the hog-raising project, which is a supplementary livelihood program to the 2014 – 16 EWP, this year.
ComRel’s special-projects head, Chris Cheno, has said the P1-million project was part of a social program being funded at 10 percent on top of Philex Mining’s P15 million worth of Exploration Work Program (EWP) between 2014 and 2016 within its MPSA, or Mineral Production Sharing Agreement, 156-2000-CAR, in Brgy. Ampucao.
Cheno also said that Philex Mining, through its ComRel at Padcal mine and in cooperation with barangay officials, has been installing since last September a potable water system in Sitio Sta. Fe to the tune of P2 million, P1.5 million of which will be funded through the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) while another P500,000 will come from the Community Development Program (CDP).
In an earlier statement, Philex Mining said it had completed drilling six holes at the Bumolo Prospect of MPSA 156, with an aggregate meterage of 17,782, between July and December last year. It was also in July 2016 when surface exploration was started in the TAPSAN area—a collective name for the Sitios of Tapaya, Saes, and Nay-en—of Brgy. Ampucao.
MPSA is where the government shares in the production of the contractor (miner), whether in kind or in monetary value. The CDP, on the other hand, is through which socioeconomic and cultural projects are being implemented in areas where there are ongoing exploration activities, while projects involving SDMP are carried out where there is production or mining operation.
During the first half of 2016, meanwhile, Philex Mining had drilled 39 holes at the Bumolo Prospect of MPSA 156. The Bumolo porphyry copper-gold deposit near Padcal mine could extend the life of Padcal for another two years, or until 2024 from the current 2022.
Located in the Baguio mineral district and is only 1.5 kilometers east of the Sto. Tomas II deposit of Padcal mine, the Bumolo porphyry’s maiden inferred mineral resources have been estimated at 21.7 million tons at 0.2 percent copper and 0.3 grams per ton gold.
In 2015, the company had drilled 11 holes during the second semester as it continued its drilling operations within the Bumolo Prospect and 773 meter level (ML) exploration project within the MPSA 156.
Philex Mining’s MPSA 156 in Tuba and Itogon measures 3,848.0348 hectares and has the latest exploration period of between July 31, 2017 and July 30, 2019. It was approved by government in Apr. 2000 and will expire in the same month of 2025.