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Mining firm appeals for reconsideration of ECC disapproval

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Jan. 30 – Foreign-backed Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) has formally filed an appeal for its rejected application for environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for its large-scale copper and gold mining venture in the mountains of South Cotabato province.

Richard Laufmann, chief executive officer of SMI’s minority shareholder Indophil Resources NL, said the company lodged a motion for reconsideration for its ECC’s disapproval with the national government last Friday.

In its 2011 fourth quarter report released on Monday, Indophil noted that SMI stated its intention to file an appeal for reconsideration of the decision, as permitted under the ECC application process.

Indophil is the minority equity holder (37.5 percent) at SMI, which is controlled by Xstrata Copper, the world’s fourth largest copper producer, through its 62.5 percent stake.

Indophil did not provide the details of the motion for reconsideration.

John Arnaldo, Sagittarius Mines corporate communications officer, separately confirmed that they have filed the appeal before the office of Environment Secretary Ramon Paje last Friday.

“The administrative process allows us that remedy,” he said on the phone.

But Arnaldo also declined to give the details of their appeal pending a consultation with the company’s legal department.

Last January 3, Paje issued an order to the Environmental Management Bureau to deny the ECC application of SMI pending the resolution of the ban on open pit mining of the provincial government of South Cotabato.

The ban was part of the Provincial Environment Code adopted by the local government in July 2010.(PNA)


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