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Benguet Corp May Withdraw From Philippine Copper-Gold Project
Jun 7,2010 17:01CST
industry news

MANILA, Jun 07, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Philippine miner Benguet Corp. (BC.PH) said Monday its board has approved a plan to withdraw from the development of the Kingking copper-gold project in the country's south.

The company expects to sign a detailed agreement in the coming weeks with St. Augustine Mining Ltd., the investment partner of National Development Corp. or Nadecor, which holds the mining claim covering the Kingking project, it said in a statement to the stock exchange.

Benguet has been at loggerheads with Nadecor, prompting the latter to ask the Department of Environment, which supervises mining operations in the country, to rescind its operating agreement with Benguet concerning Kingking.

The two parties have since tried to reach an amicable settlement on their differences, but to no avail.

Based on latest studies, Kingking, located in Compostela Valley on Mindanao island, is estimated to have 1.04 billion metric tons of resource containing 0.306% total copper and 0.410 grams/ton of gold.

The Benguet board has also approved a buyback of debt papers of an undisclosed amount from Strato International Holdings Ltd.

As of the end of 2008-09, the company's debt had reached PHP3.5 billion, including interest.

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