Canadian mining firm starts commercial operation in Zamboanga del Sur

TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD), the local affiliate of listed Canadian mining firm TVI Pacific Inc. (TVI), has commenced commercial operations of its gold-silver mine in Sitio Balabag, Zamboanga del Sur.

In a statement, TVIRD Balabag Project Manager Jun Gingo said the company is now operating at a capacity of 1,000 metric tons (MT) per day, and has so far completed its first shipment of gold doré in the amount of 855 kilograms, containing 932 ounces of gold and 25,959 ounces of silver.

TVIRD Balabag's Gold Room

The Balabag mine is owned 100 percent by TVIRD, a Philippines corporation in which TVI holds a 30.66 percent interest. Its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) covers a 4,779 hectares of mining area spanning three provinces of the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Gingo said the Balabag’s mining activities, including the plant, operates 24 hours per day.

There are 750 people working in TVIRD Balabag, nearly half of whom are residents of Bayog.

Gingo said TVIRD is looking to ramp-up its operations to double the current capacity, which he said will be supported by the collective experience of the mine’s workers and the capability of the newly-installed mill plant.

Meanwhile, Bayog Mayor Celso A. Matias lauded TVIRD for supporting local businesses and its implementation of development projects through its Social Development Management Plan (SDMP).

In a recent TV interview, Matias also discussed the economic impact of mining on his town and commended the company for providing employment to his constituents.

TVIRD has so far invested some P173.4 million in its SDMP and P264 million in royalties to the Subanen tribe during its 10-year run in Canatuan, according to the company.

Moving forward, the mayor said he is hopeful that Bayog can also be elevated from being a third-class municipality to first-class status on the back of the company’s local taxes remittances.

He is referring to the excise taxes paid by mining companies to the national government in which the host province, municipality and barangay will have a predetermined share of the tax as mandated under the Mining Act of 1995.

During its gold-silver and copper-zinc projects in Canatuan, TVIRD paid a total of P395.2 million in excise tax to the national government.