CALGARY, May 4, 2016 /CNW/ - TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX: TVI) (OTC Pink: TVIPF) ("TVI" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that TVI Resource Development (Phils.), Inc. ("TVIRD"), a company in which TVI has a 30.66% equity interest, has received approval for its Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility ("DMPF") from the Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources ("DENR") at its 100% owned Balabag gold-silver project located in Zamboanga del Sur province, the Philippines. Approval of the DMPF was the last major permit required by TVIRD to initiate the development, construction and operation of the Balabag mine and will support TVIRD's valuation as it seeks to list on the Philippines Stock Exchange ("PSE") in the second half of 2016.
"Balabag is the fourth mining project to be successfully permitted by TVIRD in the Philippines over the past 11 years and I am confident that TVIRD will secure the necessary funds to move the project forward prior its listing on the PSE later this year," stated Clifford James, Chairman and CEO of TVI and Chairman of TVIRD. "At TVI, we are very pleased with this development as a permitted Balabag project will greatly support TVIRD's efforts to list on the PSE and the listing could provide TVI with both a short and long-term source of funding for our resource acquisition and development activities."
About the Balabag Project
TVIRD holds 100% of the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement ("MPSA") area covering 4,779 hectares containing the Balabag epithermal gold and silver project. The project is located in the town of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur province, the Philippines, and is situated approximately 75 kilometers (47 miles) east-northeast of TVIRD's Canatuan mine.
A total of 296 holes have been drilled for a total of 34,156 meters at the Balabag project up to mid-2013. Based on results of drilling completed to the end of June 2011 and as included in the Balabag NI 43-101 technical report dated June 23, 2012, the project has estimated indicated mineral resources of 1.78 million tonnes averaging 2.34 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 72.3 g/t silver, containing 134,262 ounces of gold and 4,148,196 ounces of silver.
While exploration and development work have been put on hold at the Balabag project since mid-2013 pending the receipt of all permits, TVIRD has continued to work on the engineering design for a gold-silver processing plant to process ore on-site. TVIRD has also constructed and maintained 16 kilometres of access roads to the project in anticipation of the commencement of construction.
Prior to receipt of DMPF approval, TVIRD received an Environmental Compliance Certificate ("ECC") on the project from the DENR as announced in news on October 16, 2013. TVIRD also received the approval of its Social Development Management Program in May 2014. And as announced in news on December 22, 2015, TVIRD gained its social license to operate at the Balabag project by entering into a memorandum of agreement with Subanen leaders in August 2014. This agreement was a necessary part of the DMPF process and a prerequisite for a Certification Precondition to be issued by the NCIP Commission in order for TVIRD to operate the Balabag Gold-Silver Project.
The Balabag DMPF, which was approved by the DENR on April 29, 2016, authorizes TVIRD to proceed with the development and operation of the Balabag project initially over a 180-hectare portion of the MPSA area which is covered by the ECC that was granted by the DENR in October 2013. The 180-hectare area covers all currently defined resources at the project as well as proposed mining and processing facility sites. TVIRD also has the option of submitting an amended ECC that would allow exploration and mining to cover the entire 4,779-hectare MPSA area. TVIRD intends to submit an amended ECC with the DENR in order to access areas with future resource development potential.
The Balabag project represents a significant portion of TVIRD's valuation that was contemplated in a Preliminary Prospectus filed by TVIRD with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and the PSE relating to a proposed Initial Public Offering ("IPO") of TVIRD shares in late 2015 (see news from October 8 and December 21, 2015). Proceeds from the IPO were also expected to be used to fund certain capital expenditures for the construction, development and operation of the Balabag project.
TVIRD had previously aimed to complete its PSE listing and IPO in late 2015/early 2016; however, these efforts were put on hold pending the conclusion of the Philippine Presidential elections in May and improving market conditions (see news from February 29, 2016). TVIRD now aims to list on the PSE sometime in the second half of 2016.
Given the deferral of TVIRD's PSE listing and IPO as announced in news on February 29, 2016, TVIRD is now working on securing alternative project financing to fund the development of the Balabag mine. To minimize the amount of project financing that is required, TVIRD is evaluating multiple mine development scenarios to ensure that the project can be advanced into production at the lowest possible capital requirements.
For more information on the Balabag project, please see the NI43-101 technical report dated June 23, 2012 entitled "NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Balabag Gold Project, Zamboanga Province, Philippines" available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on TVI's website at www.tvipacific.com.
About TVI Pacific Inc.
TVI Pacific Inc. is a Canadian resource company currently focused on the acquisition of resource projects in the Asia Pacific region. TVI's track record of success includes putting the first foreign invested mine into production in the Philippines after the passage of the Philippines Mining Act of 1995. From 2004 to 2014, the Canatuan mine produced 105,200 ounces of gold, 1.8 million ounces of silver, 199,778 dry metric tonnes of copper concentrate and 30,558 dry metric tonnes of zinc concentrate.
TVI currently holds a 30.66% interest in TVIRD, a private Philippine resource company engaged in the production of nickel laterite ore at the Agata project, advancing its 100% owned Balabag Gold-Silver project towards production and achieving a listing on the PSE in late 2016. In addition to its interest in TVIRD, TVI also holds (i) a 28.26% equity interest in FOY Group Limited; (ii) a 14.4% equity interest in Mindoro Resources Ltd.; (iii) a 10% interest in the Amazon Bay Iron Sands project in Papua New Guinea; and (iv) a 100% investment in shares of TG World.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain information set out in this News Release constitutes forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe", "scheduled", "to be", "will be" and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements in this News Release are based upon the opinions and expectations of management of the Company as at the effective date of such statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that those expectations will prove to have been correct. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties (known and unknown) that could cause actual outcomes to differ materially from those anticipated or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, such things as inherent risks associated with the exploration and development of mining properties, ultimate recoverability of mineral reserves, timing, results and costs of exploration and development activities, availability of financial resources or third-party financing, new laws (domestic or foreign), changes in administrative practices, changes in exploration plans or budgets, and availability of equipment and personnel.
Various risks to which the Company is exposed in the conduct of its business (including mining activities) are described in detail in the Company's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2015, which was filed on SEDAR on March 24, 2016 and is available under the Company's profile at www.SEDAR.com. Subject to applicable securities laws, the Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly revise the forward-looking statements included in this News Release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
SOURCE TVI Pacific Inc.
For further information: Shirley Anthony, VP Corporate Communications, TVI Pacific Inc., Phone: 778.999.2771, E-mail: [email protected]