BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Region 2 said the large-scale mining project of British FCF Minerals Corporation in the province is scheduled to operate commercially before the end of this year after it has complied with the necessary corrective measures.
Mario Ancheta, MGB-Region 2 director, said FCF has already submitted a Declaration of Commencement of Commercial Operations of its Gold-Molybdenum Project in the upland village of Runruno in the mineral-rich town of Quezon located more than 200 miles north of Manila.
FCF’s commercial operation has been delayed by an MGB suspension order last year after the devastating Typhoon Lando struck Luzon in October 2015 which affected part of its newly-constructed facility.
“The firm’s scheduled commercial operation earlier this year has to be delayed because we cannot allow a mining company to continue for lack of compliance with the requirements based on existing mining laws and regulations,” Ancheta said.
MGB ordered its construction and development work suspended at FCF’s project in Runruno after the facility was damaged by the typhoon and to implement rehabilitation and clean up of the area. They were also required to submit and present a rehabilitation and cleanup plan.
The bureau report showed that FCF Minerals has secured an ISO 14001:2015 certification, which DENR Secretary Regina Paz Lopez earlier said was a “a way to identify responsible miners.”
A local subsidiary of the London-based Metal Exploration, FCF is one of the four firms with existing Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAA) with the government under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
In 2011, the project was approved by the Provincial Board after it was endorsed by the host Barangay Runruno and the local government of Quezon following more than five years of exploration and community development activities in the area.
With a capital cost of $149.3 million and estimated average annual operation cost of $46.2 million, FCF Minerals targets to produce an average of 96,700 ounces of gold per year over a mine life of 10.4 years.
Runruno village has been known to be abundant in gold and other precious metals since the early 1960s and has enjoyed a varied exploration history, according to the company’s website.
FCF Minerals first became involved with the Runruno deposit in 2005 and has undertaken extensive scientific and geological surveys since then with extremely encouraging results.
The company has 509 employees working in the mining project in the upland village of Runruno excluding contractors’ employees.
Two more large-scale mining companies in the Cagayan Valley region are into extraction of gold, copper and nickel – OceanaGold miner in Didipio located between Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya provinces, and Nickel Asia Corporation in Dimaluade village at Dinapigue, Isabela which is under Mineral Production Sharing Agreement with the government.