Mining company continues to pour in millions for CSR projects in Pantukan

The St. Augustine Gold and Copper Ltd. (SAGCL) is keeping on with its social corporate responsibilty (CSR) projects in the mining town of Pantukan in Compostela Valley as their hopes remain high that its $2 billion project would meet its timetable to start commercial operations by 2017.

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources recently reviewed the environmental impact study submitted by SAGCL for its King-King Copper and Gold Project (KCGP).

Clyde Gillespie, SAGCL country manager, said the regulatory body has returned the study with notes on issues the company needs to address. Gillespie said their company's recent exploration drillings will address issues raised by the EMB. Approval of such environmental study is necessary before an environmental compliance certificate is issued for the company to start operation.

He said their company is confident it can secure all necessary permits soon. Gillespie said they hope to get the declaration of mining project feasibility of the project before the end of this year, and the environmental compliance certificate by June or July this year.

The local government of Pantukan meanwhile expressed support on the project. Pantukan Mayor Roberto Yugo said that even before the start of their commercial operation, KCGP had already provided jobs for locals.

He said that once the operation starts, they expect more jobs to be generated.

Early this week, more than 2,000 families availed of the Community Livelihood Initiative Projects (CLIP) conducted by KCGP.

One of the projects is the Vegetable Garden and Fishpond in Purok Sta. Teresa, which is in partnership with the Girl Scouts of the Philippines(GSP) and the community.

Aside from this, other programs of the mining company focused on the livelihood of Mansaka tribe. These include the provision of sewing machine and dress-making training to the tribal women's group.

The projects also included establishment of water system, distribution of farm implements and development of other important infrastructure.

Jonathan Banez, the company's community development officer, said St. Augustine has continued to spend on community projects with an annual allocation of about P25 million for projects which is bigger that the 10% requirement for corporate social responsibility projects. [BOT]


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