ST Augustine Gold and Copper and its joint venture partner Nationwide Development Corporation (NADECOR) has received approval of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the King-king Copper-Gold Project in Mindanao. The EIS has been approved by the Philippine Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), the responsible regulatory body in the Philippines.

In connection with the EIS approval, the EMB has also issued King-king’s Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC). The EIS was developed in accordance with Philippine and International Finance Corporation (IFC) standards.

“Approval of the EIS is a key milestone for the project on a number of levels,” says St Augustine’s president and CEO Paolo A Villar. “First, we have achieved a critical step in de-risking the project. The approved EIS demonstrates our commitment to international environmental and social best practices. Furthermore, it is a testament of the support for development of King-king from the Philippine government, both at the local and national levels.

“The ECC is critical to the advancement of the King-king project and is required for the final submission and subsequent approval of the Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF), the Philippine’s mine permit. Receipt of the DMPF will enable construction to commence at King-king.”

St Augustine’s COO Tom Henderson also says, “Following the completion of the recently oversubscribed private placement for US$7.5 million and the environmental permitting process, the project is now well-positioned to achieve our next set of milestones, including finalization of project financing and development planning.”

During the EIS review process, St Augustine continued its ongoing commitment to social and community outreach. These programs were supported by NADECOR and the local government units.

Most recently, a successful blood drive was completed in partnership with Radyo Pantukan, and a Memorandum of Agreement was signed with the Municipal Nutrition Council in order to launch a Sustainable Feeding Program for five impacted barangays.

Furthermore, at two separately held public meetings, the project donated agricultural tools to the Sitio Binogsayan Council in Napnapan and received project support from the MGB Region XI.

The King-king project is in Compostela Valley and is expected to recover 3.16 billion pounds of copper and 5.43 million ounces of gold over its 25-year mine life. According to the preliminary feasibility study released in September 2013, the project has a pre-tax NPV of $2 billion with an IRR of 24.8%.