CALGARY, Sept. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX-V: TVI) (OTC Pink: TVIPF) ("TVI" or "the Company") announces that TVI Resource Development (Phils.), Inc. ("TVIRD"), a company in which TVI has a 30.66% equity interest, has learned through a news conference held on September 27 by the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources ("DENR") that Agata Mining Ventures Incorporated ("AMVI") – a company in which TVIRD holds a 60% interest and is the operator of the Agata nickel laterite mine in Northern Mindanao, Philippines – is among 20 mining companies that have been recommended for suspension following an audit of all 41 metallic mining operations in the country.
Outside of learning of the Agata audit result through the DENR press conference, AMVI has not yet received a formal letter from the DENR providing a copy of the full audit results or any order for suspension. AMVI has been advised that once it receives the formal letter, it will then have seven days to provide a response to address any alleged violations found by the audit team. The DENR Secretary would then render a decision on whether the operation is suspended or allowed to proceed following the receipt of the response – the timing of which is uncertain.
Based on a preliminary review of the three alleged violations that have been cited by the DENR against AMVI as possible cause for suspension, AMVI is confident that it can successfully demonstrate full proof of compliance within the seven-day period allowed for a response. Until it receives a final decision from the DENR Secretary, AMVI will continue its operations at the Agata mine, where over 1,660 people are currently employed.
"TVIRD supports the DENR's efforts to ensure that all mining in the Philippines is carried out to the highest environmental and social standards as this is something that we work hard to achieve every day and have been consistently recognized for by industry regulatory bodies, including the DENR," stated Cliff James, Chairman and CEO of TVI and Chairman of TVIRD. "We are certainly taken aback by the audit findings and will work closely with the DENR through AMVI to demonstrate that TVIRD has indeed implemented all necessary environmental protection measures at Agata to ensure that operations continue uninterrupted."
AMVI's Agata operation was the first Philippine mining operation to be awarded the Titanium Award at the Presidential Mineral Industry and Environmental Awards Ceremony in November 2015 after just one year in operation. The Titanium Award recognized AMVI for exceptional implementation of its approved Environment Protection and Enhancement Program, Social Development and Management Program and its ongoing Occupational Health and Safety Program.
Postponement of PSE Listing
Due to the uncertain environment in which the Philippine mining industry has operated since the nationwide audit of metallic mines was ordered by the DENR Secretary under the new Duterte Administration that came into power in June, TVIRD has placed all activities relating to its previously proposed listing on the Philippine Stock Exchange and Initial Public Offering on hold. Such activities will resume once the DENR's position on various mining policies is further clarified.
TVIRD was incorporated under the laws of the Philippines on January 18, 1994 and was an indirect subsidiary of TVI until July 2014 when Prime Resource Holdings Inc., a private Philippine investment entity, became the controlling shareholder. Following the enactment of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, TVIRD was the first foreign-affiliated resource company to reach the production stage with the Canatuan project located in the municipality of Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines. At the Canatuan mine, TVIRD established gold and silver operations from 2004 to 2008 and transitioned to copper and zinc operations from 2009 until 2014, during which time TVIRD ranked among the country's top copper and zinc producers.
TVIRD's track record of exceptional environmental performance at its Canatuan operations was recognized by numerous environmental and safety awards at the annual Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Awards. Top accolades received between 2010 and 2013 include the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award – Platinum Award (2012); Titanium Award for Excellence in Environmental Management (2011); Platinum Achievement Award - Surface Mining Category (2010); and Titanium Award – Surface Mining Category (2013).
Since 2014, TVIRD has evolved into a diversified mining company that focuses on the acquisition, exploration, development and production of resource projects in the Philippines. Key projects include the 100% owned Balabag gold-silver project located in the municipality of Bayog, province of Zamboanga del Sur; and nickel laterite direct shipping ore operations at the Agata project located in northern Mindanao.
About TVI Pacific Inc.
TVI Pacific Inc. is a Canadian resource company focused on the acquisition of resource projects in the Asia Pacific region. TVI currently holds a 30.66% equity interest in TVIRD and a 27.24% equity interest in FOY Group Limited, an Australian company in the process of acquiring and funding the commercialization of plastics to diesel technology in Australia and relisting on the Australian Stock Exchange in H2/2016. TVI's other holdings include a 14.4% equity interest in Mindoro Resources Ltd.; a 10% interest in the Amazon Bay Iron Sands project in Papua New Guinea; and 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.
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: Contact Information: Shirley Anthony, VP Corporate Communications, TVI Pacific Inc., Phone: 778.999.2771, E-mail: [email protected]