TSX: TVI OTCQX: TVIPF
CALGARY, Dec. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX:TVI) (OTCQX:TVIPF) ("TVI" or "the Company") and TVI's Philippine affiliate, TVI Resource Development (Phils.), Inc. ("TVIRD"), are pleased to announce that TVIRD has entered the final phase of its permitting process at the Balabag Gold-Silver Project located in Zamboanga del Sur province, the Philippines. TVIRD is currently fulfilling the final requirements necessary for the approval of its Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility ("DMPF") from the Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources ("DENR") and will be submitting the information by the end of January 2015. Depending on the DENR's response time, TVIRD anticipates that the permitting process could be completed in the first quarter of 2015, after which on-site construction work will commence.
"We are very encouraged to be nearing the completion of the permitting process at Balabag," stated Clifford James, Chairman and CEO of TVI and Chairman of TVIRD. "While the process has taken longer than anticipated, it has given our team the time to fully optimize the process flow sheet by conducting thorough pilot plant test work and various other studies to ensure the eventual operation's success."
"In addition, the advancement of the Balabag project serves as another critical stepping stone for TVIRD to secure a listing on the Philippine Stock Exchange in 2015, the achievement of which could substantially enhance its investment value for TVI and its shareholders," concluded Mr. James.
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. Basic engineering design has now been completed and detailed design work is underway. TVIRD has also constructed and maintained 16 kilometres of access roads to the project in anticipation of the commencement of construction.
Final Phase of Permitting
Following a technical conference to review the Balabag project conducted by the DENR's Mines and Geosciences Bureau ("MGB") on October 20, 2014, TVIRD received the remaining list of requirements from the agency's Technical Committee on Mining Feasibility Study, which will validate the overall study and provide a recommendation to the bureau chief. TVIRD management is currently finalizing the information required, which includes open pit and underground mining methods, tailings dam design, summary and costs of both social and environmental programs. Upon completion and submission expected for the end of January 2015, the information will be deliberated by the bureau's Contingent Liability Rehabilitation Fund Steering Committee and a decision made shortly after for the grant of the DMPF.
To date, TVIRD has received an Environmental Compliance Certificate ("ECC") from the DENR for the Balabag project upon the recommendation of the Environment Management Bureau, as announced in news on October 16, 2013. TVIRD also received the approval of its Social Development Management Program in May 2014.
Processing Plant Design
As previously announced in news on June 26, 2013, TVIRD had established a pilot plant at its nearby Canatuan mine site to carry out metallurgical test work on samples of the different types of mineralization at Balabag. Initial test results from 30 tonnes of sample material grading 4.8 grams per tonne Au and 212 g/t Ag indicated average overall recoveries of 93% for gold and 90% for silver after 36 hours of leach time. Lower grade ore containing 2.7 g/t Au and 98 g/t Ag, which more closely represent the initial mining schedule, was fed into the pilot plant and results confirmed high extraction rates of 94% Au and 92% Ag after 36 hours of leach time. These results validated the Balabag test material's amenability to leaching as determined from prior laboratory-scale tests.
Based on the results of the metallurgical test work and following the receipt of the ECC in October 2013, TVIRD has now completed the basic engineering design for the Balabag gold-silver processing plant and has engaged an engineering contractor in its current preparation of a preliminary Site General Arrangements Plan. The site plan will lay out specific locations of on-site facilities, including the processing plant and its subsections. It is estimated that modelling, detailing, validation and final drafting will be completed by December 2014, after which a detailed engineering design will follow.
In addition, design proponents will craft a corresponding Preliminary Report for Construction and Installation, which can better define the capital expenditure needed for establishing the processing plant.
Social License to Operate
Following two months of extensive, in-depth public consultation between TVIRD and local Subanens on the Balabag project, supervised by the National Commission on Indigenous People ("NCIP"), Subanen leaders entered into a memorandum of agreement with TVIRD on August 19, 2014. This agreement is 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 agreement is currently with the NCIP's review team in Region IX, which covers the entire Zamboanga Peninsula, and will be transmitted to the NCIP's national office to be calendared for a meeting with all commissioners for consideration.
Tribal leaders believe that, based on TVIRD's previous success in operating the Canatuan gold and silver mine, TVIRD is capable of implementing development of the Balabag project in Bayog. They also expressed their desire for the TVIRD-Subanen partnership to be a model for development and a testament that securing the tribe's free, prior and informed consent is a transparent process that can foster both social and economic benefits to all parties involved.
About the Balabag Project
TVIRD holds 100% of the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement 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.
To date, a total of 296 holes have been drilled for a total of 34,156 meters at the Balabag project. 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 current indicated mineral resource was estimated to be 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.
During the first half of 2013, TVIRD completed 18 additional infill or extension drill holes equivalent to 1,221 metres. In addition, mapping and sampling activities were carried out in the underground workings, and trenching and soil grid geochemical surveys were done over the eastern and southern part of Balabag hill. The discovery of multi-directional veining has increased the potential of finding more veins. Once all permits to develop the Balabag project have been received, further exploration work and the completion of an updated resource estimate is expected to commence.
For more information on the Balabag project, please see the NI 43-101 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 focused on the production, development, exploration and acquisition of resource projects in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. TVI's affiliate, TVIRD, has to date produced copper and zinc concentrates as well as gold and silver doré from its Canatuan mine and has now commenced shipping high-iron/low nickel ore at the Agata DSO project, which is 60% held by TVIRD. TVIRD is also in the final stages of completing a definitive feasibility study ("DFS") on the innovative Agata nickel processing project, in which TVIRD has the right to earn a 60% interest upon completion of the DFS, and continues to advance its 100% owned Balabag Gold-Silver project. TVI is a direct or indirect participant/operator in several joint venture projects in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Fiji and also has an interest in an offshore Philippine oil property.
In addition to retaining a 30.66% indirect interest in TVIRD and other Philippine subsidiaries, TVI continues to directly hold (i) 20.04% equity interest in Foyson Resources Limited ("Foyson") (ii) a 14.4% equity interest in Mindoro; (iii) its 10% interest in the Amazon Bay Iron Sands project (for which the exploration license is held by Titan Mines Limited, a company in which Foyson holds 50% shareholding and has an option to acquire the remaining 50%); and (iv) its 100% investment in shares of TG World Energy Corp.
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, 2013, which was filed on SEDAR on March 19, 2014 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: TVI Pacific Inc.: Shirley Anthony, Investor Relations, 778.999.2771, [email protected]