Published: 12:30 PM October 7, 2016
 Updated: 12:30 PM October 7, 2016

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines– British-owned FCF Minerals Corporation is set to start its full commercial operation in Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya before the end of the year, environment officials here said on Wednesday, October 5.

Mario Ancheta, regional director of the Mines ad Geosciences Bureau (MGB)-Cagayan Valley, said the multi-billion peso Runruno Gold Project in Quezon town has already complied with necessary corrective measures after its delay due to typhoon-damaged facilities in 2015.

The start of commercial operation of the project will end the more than decade exploration and construction of facilities and roads, which, according to its mother company Metal Exploration, yielded “extremely encouraging results.”

“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.

Ancheta said FCF submitted a Declaration of Commencement of Commercial Operations (DCCO) of its gold and molybdenum mining operation.

The DCCO submission means the FCF already complied with the earlier demand of the MGB to present a rehabilitation and cleanup plan on the typhoon-damaged facilities.

The Runruno Gold Project is expected to produce 96,700 ounces of gold yearly in the operation span of over 10 years.

The project has a capitol cost of $149.3 million and estimated average annual operation cost of $46.2 million.

The announcement of the start of commercial operation of the project came weeks after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) announcement of suspension of 20 mining firms in the country, including the OceanaGold mining in the Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.

The OceanaGold, however, said there is no formal suspension order yet so the mining and drilling activities are continuing at the area.

The company said it will continue to collaborate with the DENR to facilitate the “immediately resolve of this matter to ensure no disruption to our operations and our valued local workforce.”

OceanaGold said it has been observing “responsible mining” and was confident to pass the mining audit since day one.

“We pride ourselves, and have been recognised on numerous occasions, for being a responsible mining company with a long history of operating to the highest industry standards on health, safety, environment, community and sustainability. We are disappointed with the statements made earlier today and will seek clarification and reconsideration from the DENR to further understand and rectify this matter in short order,” Mick Wilkes, President and CEO said. TNF