VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Jun. 18 -- MBMI RESOURCES INC. ("MBMI" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:MBR) is pleased to announce that it has commenced activities related to large-scale nickel exploration and development in Palawan, Philippines.
The previously announced and executed Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement ("FTAA") is only the fifth FTAA executed by the Philippine government for mineral projects since it has allowed such arrangements. The executed FTAA paves the way for MBMI and its Philippine affiliates to commence large-scale exploration, development and utilization of nickel and other minerals within their four Palawan, Philippine mineral project areas. The FTAA has a term of 25 years, renewable for another 25 years.
Hiring of a qualified workforce has been initiated in Narra, Palawan in order to expand activities on the Alpha and Bethlehem properties. The Company has identified accessible high-grade, exposed nickel and chrome materials areas on both properties and is reviewing contracting proposals to commence drilling programs. The drill programs objective is to expand currently delineated areas and confirm sufficient resources for supporting development of a large-scale operation. Upgrading and expanding the capacity of the current Narra site assay and material control laboratory has commenced, and additional equipment for development and excavation is being sourced. Immediate priority within the Alpha property is being given to completing the construction of several additional siltation ponds that safeguard and provide additional security for outflow drainage during the wet season.
MBMI's ongoing negotiations with several major international nickel industry consumers and strategic industry partners who wish to secure long-term stable sources of raw and value-added nickel materials has advanced considerably. The recently executed FTAA could accelerate the completion of a strategic partnership agreement that may lead to an expanded Direct Shipping Operation and development of a "downstream" value-added processing facility in the Philippines.
As progress is made in the development of large-scale operations, the Company and its Philippine affiliates are committed to continuing to take positive action to conserve natural resources and minimize the impact of activities on the environment and local communities. The Company's dedication to diligent application of appropriate technology and responsible conduct at all stages of exploration and development ensure compliance with applicable environmental regulations and commitments. MBMI has also initiated the planning and allocation of additional funding to implement social development activities designated to improve the general welfare of local Palawan communities as one of many components of a long-term community sustainability program.
MBMI Resources Inc. is a Canadian-based mining company focused on the exploration and development of nickel mineral properties in the Philippines. MBMI and its Philippine partners have an interest in nine nickel laterite projects in the Philippines, covering an area greater than 22,000 hectares. MBMI's objective is to become a major supplier of high-grade nickel products to primary industrial consumers in Asia.