Listed holding firm Apollo Global Capital Inc. (APL) on Tuesday announced that its unit will be commencing magnetite iron ore mining operations by the middle or end of this month.
“Apollo Global Capital Inc. (APL) is pleased to announce that its subsidiary, JDVC Resources Corporation (JDVC) is currently mobilizing to commence production of magnetite iron ore this month of February,” the company said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
JDVC has spent some P900 million to commence the commercial operations of what will be the country’s first offshore magnetite iron mining project in Cagayan, according to APL.
In a separate statement, Jun Herrera, the company mining consultant, said that the newly-built deep sea mining vessel has arrived in Cagayan and is currently taking shelter due to strong waves. It is expected to start mining operations as soon as the ocean swell subsides, by mid- or end-February.
“The first vessel has arrived and three more vessels are expected to arrive this year,” Herrera said.
The vessel is capable of commercial extraction, testing and sampling and production of magnetite iron.
APL has assured the government that there will be minimal impact on the sea environment as studies by a Singapore-based survey company showed there are no coral or aquamarine life within the mining area, which is 150 meters below sea level.
The company also addressed a complaint from a Ballesteros, Cagayan resident alleging that the planned offshore mining operations of JDVC Resources will cause damage to coral beds.
“We won’t even be mining in their waters! In the first place, our mining operation will be in the waters of Buguey and Gonzaga towns, and at a distance of over 14 kilometers. That’s more than two horizon lengths away from the shoreline,” the company said.
In a letter to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, a certain Ballesteros resident described the JDVC project as a “catastrophe”, citing a study by University of Hawaii oceanographer Craig Smith of the ocean seabed in the northeast Pacific abyssal waters.
APL said that the study cited by the resident is a different part of the ocean compared to the mining site.
“That’s a different part of the Pacific,” the company said.
“It looks at the ocean bed more than 200 meters below sea level, whereas we can only go down to 150 meters with current technology. Moreover, the Smith study did not look at magnetite iron reserves. From the experience of countries like Indonesia, Japan, and New Zealand, magnetite iron is known to be toxic to corals, fish and other aquamarine life,” it said.
To confirm this, APL said its unit JDVC commissioned a Singapore survey company to conduct a full “sea bottom profile” of its mining tenements in offshore Cagayan.?
Indeed, no corals or aquamarine life were to be found, the company said.
APL said it has secured all the enabling permits, licenses and standard certifications of JDVC, including but not limited to Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility, Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (EPEP), Social Management and Development Program (SDMP), and various ISO certifications have been obtained and fully complied with.?
It added that JDVC has also secured satisfactory community acceptance through public consultations with Resolutions of no Objection from the Municipal Council and various coastal Barangay Councils in Gonzaga, Cagayan, where it has done extensive continuing offshore exploration within its 1,897 hectares of mining tenement.
The company said that the mining project, located in the municipalities of Aparri, Buguey and Gonzaga in Cagayan is proceeding as it has already received funding from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
The DBP granted an $8 million credit line for the JDVC magnetite iron mining project, which has proven to be environmentally and ecologically balanced.
“Magnetite mining has a strong market around the world including China, which is made ‘the steel industry as their roadmap for their economic recovery,’” Herrera said. —Ted Cordero/KG, GMA News
This article Apollo Global unit to start magnetite mining in Cagayan was originally published in GMA News Online.