ONGPIN-LED mining firm Atok-Big Wedge Co., Inc. (AB) has paid approximately $500,000 to United Kingdom-based Forum Energy Ltd. to maintain its 20% stake in the company.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Thursday, the mining firm said its wholly owned subsidiary Tidemark Holdings Ltd. fully paid $499,999.80 (about P25.34 million) to Forum.

The payment is for Tidemark Holdings’ subscription to 1.67 million previously unissued ordinary shares in Forum, which were bought at $0.30 each. The shares represent 1.85% of Forum’s total outstanding shares.

“This new subscription will result in the company maintaining its 20% ownership of Forum,” AB said in the disclosure.

Forum is a gas and oil exploration and production company where Tidemark Holdings, a Hong Kong-based firm, maintains a 20% stake. In this respect, Forum is an associate company of AB.

The company said Forum holds the license to Service Contract 72, an 8,800-square kilometer area near Palawan (Recto Bank) estimated to contain prospective resources of natural gas and oil.

In a regulatory filing, AB said drilling plans for this contract are currently on hold due to territorial disputes around the West Philippine Sea.

The company booked a net loss of P2.17 million in the nine months ending September 2019, larger than the P1.32 net loss it recorded in the same period a year ago.

Shares in AB at the stock exchange slipped eight centavos or 0.73% to P10.86 each on Thursday. — Denise A. Valdez