Vizcaya’s mining works on hold

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BAYOMBONG, Nueva  Vizcaya: The commercial operation of a British-owned mining firm in Quezon town remains suspended this month on orders of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) until rehabilitation is completed on its facility damaged by a typhoon last year.

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MGB regional director Mario Ancheta ordered in October last year the suspension of construction and development work on the FCF Minerals Gold-Molybdenum Project in Runruno village after the onslaught of Typhoon Lando.

The MGB has directed the mining company to implement rehabilitation, clean up the area and submit its action plan, which is still reportedly being reviewed.

“We cannot allow a mining company to go on with its commercial operations due to lack of compliance with the requirements based on existing mining laws and regulations,” Ancheta said.

The MGB report showed that the residual storage impounded (RSI) of FCF Minerals failed to contain the volume of runoff water brought about by heavy rains, which overflowed, causing soil erosion.

But until the MGB issues a clearance for the firm, its expected resumption of operations this month remains uncertain.

With a capital cost of $149.3 million and an estimated average annual operation cost of $46.2 million, FCF Minerals expects to produce an average of 96,700 ounces of gold per year over a mine life of 10.4 years.

According to FCF country manager Craig Watkins, the company has at least 672 employees in the mining project.

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