THE Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in the Davao region has approved the Annual Safety and Health Program (ASHP) and the Community Development Program (CDP) for the King-King Copper Gold Project (KCGP).

The approval of the two programs signifies the MGB's recognition of the Calalang-led board of directors of the Nationwide Development Corp. (Nadecor), the Philippine partner of the US-based St. Augustine Gold and Copper Ltd.

In a letter to Nadecor, Noel B. Angeles, the acting regional director of MGB in Davao, even clarified the MGB "did not return the DMPF [Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility] nor recommended for its cancellation."

He said the MGB proceeded with the preliminary review of the DMPF on January 21, 2014.

Subsequently, the ASHP was approved on March 14, while the CDP was approved on April 14.

KCGP submitted the safety and health plan, wherein activities will be managed in accordance with best practices and applicable laws and regulations. It addresses hazards, whether or not they are regulated by government standards.

In a statement, KCGP Country Manager Clyde Gillespie said safety is a core value of the company.

"The goal is to ensure that every employee returns home safe and healthy from their workplace every day. The King-king project strives to create a safe, and accident- and injury-free workplace and community," Gillespie said.

The CDP's Certificate of Approval was granted after the KCGP substantially complied with the mandated requirements specified under Administrative Order (DAO) 2010-13 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

KCGP hopes to start construction in 2015 and start commercial production by 2017.

The King-king project has a mine life of 23 years, with 2.5 percent of its operating budget planned for community development programs and projects.

The King-king project will create approximately 5,000 direct jobs and about 20,000 indirect jobs during its construction phase and employ around 1,700 workers once it starts commercial production.

The project is being eyed by local officials of Pantukan as a booster to the local economy, on top of the expected increase in revenue to be generated once it starts commercial operation.

The proposed copper-gold mine could produce up to 3.2 billion pounds of copper, 5.4 million ounces of gold and 11.7 million ounces of silver.

The MGB, early this week, said the KCGP was among those companies that continue to invest in the mining industry, with total investments reaching $1.311 billion last year.

SOURCE: http://businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/en/news/regions/31779-mgb-approves-2-king-king-copper-gold-projects-in-davao