MANILA, Philippines – The Alcantara-led Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc. said Tuesday its board has approved the acquisition of 29.1 million shares in Indophil Resources NL, which owns part of the $5.9-billion Tampakan gold-and-copper project.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Alsons Consolidated said its affiliate, Alsons Corp., currently owns the shares, which represent 6 percent of the total ownership of the Australian mining company.
Alsons Consolidated chair Tomas I. Alcantara said the purchase would transfer ownership from the privately held Alsons Corp. to the publicly listed holding company, whose main revenue is currently derived from its power and energy business segment.
“This is part of Alsons Consolidated's plan to increase its revenue share in the future from its other businesses such as mining and property development,” Alcantara added.
The sale of Alsons Corp.'s shares to ACR will be executed via a crossing of the shares off-market in the Australian Stock Exchange.
The purchase of the Indophil shares will also bring an indirect ownership interest for Alsons Consolidated in the Tampakan copper and gold project. It would likewise consolidated its partnership with the Australian miner, which is already a 25 percent partner of ACR Mining Corp. in the Manat gold mining claim in Compostela Valley, currently undergoing advanced exploration work.
Indophil Resources NL is 37.5 percent owner of the Tampakan Copper Gold project in South Cotabato, which is now being developed by XStrata Plc, through its local subsidiary Sagittarius MInes Inc.
According to a mine feasibility update provided by Indophil, the project proponents have recently revised the development cost of the South Cotabato mining project to $5.9 billion from an initial estimate of $5.5 billion.
The new estimate includes the provision of $900 million or roughly P38.7 billion for a planned power plant that will serve the power demand of the Tampakan mining operations.
The Tampakan project is touted to bring in the largest foreign investment into the Philippines as the $5.9-billion investment only pertains to the development cost until the project reaches commercial production. The mine is expected to operate from 2015 to 2033.
Mark Williams, general manager of Xstrata's local subsidiary SMI, earlier said that the Philippine economy would also stand to reap as much as $40 billion within a 25-year period.
Williams had said that the Tampakan project – said to contain one of the biggest untapped copper resources in Southeast Asia – would prove to be an economic driver not only for Mindanao, but for the whole country as well.