CELSIUS Resources’ Philippine subsidiary Makilala Mining Co., Inc. (MMCI) said it hopes to launch commercial operations at its Maalinao-Caigutan-Biyog (MCB) copper-gold project by 2026.

“Hopefully by 2024 we can start the project construction and proceed to first commercial production by 2026,” Judy Rola, head of information management at MMCI, said of the project, located in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Ms. Rola said the project has been issued an environmental compliance certificate by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and is awaiting the approval of its Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF).

The company is currently preparing key requirements for the mineral production sharing agreement, which be lodged once the DMPF is secured.

“What we are doing is that we’re showing the government that we have the plans and programs in place to make sure that the negative impacts of mining are mitigated,” Patrique Jane Duran, head of mining of MMCI, said.

Ms. Duran said that the MCB project is suitable for underground mining with an estimated 25-year mine life.

The company expects production to peak at 4.5 million tons of copper-gold concentrate per annum but will start at 2.25 million tons once allowed to operate.

The mining method the company has selected will do away with the need for a conventional tailing dam, she said.

The project site is within the ancestral domain of the Balatoc Tribe in Pasil, Kalinga province.
“We have undergone the free, prior and informed consent process with the Balatoc community which (resulted in a) memorandum of agreement,” said Ms. Rola.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau awarded the MCB project priority status for fast-tracking of approvals, according to Ms. Rola. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera