MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Pse May Impose Sanctions On Apec Mining

Published by MAC on 2007-01-29
Source: The Philippine Star

PSE may impose sanctions on APEC Mining

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña, The Philippine Star

29th January 2007

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has threatened to impose sanctions against Apex Mining Corp. and its officers and directors should the listed mining firm refuse to hold its annual stockholders’ meeting (ASM) on Feb. 28.

In a letter to Apex, PSE chairman Francis Lim said the PSE move was triggered by repeated postponements of the company’s ASM which was recently moved to Feb. 28 from Jan. 18, and repeated violations of the exchange’s disclosure rules.

"Under the rules of the exchange, the conduct of a regular ASM is a continuing listing requirement.

Thus, the exchange frowns upon repeated postponements of the ASM as these actions deprive stockholders of their right to vote their shares and to participate in the corporation’s affairs," Lim said.

"The need to send you this warning letter has gained added urgency in light of increasing incidents of the company’s seeming disregard of the exchange’s disclosure rules," Lim further said.

Last year alone, Apex failed to submit its annual report for the year 2005, its quarterly report for the period ending March 31, 2006, and the list of its top 100 stockholders as of Dec. 31 last year.

Apex also failed to release update on its Masara Gold Mine on time. "The exchange considers the company’s failure to comply with said obligation a serious violation since it deprives the investing public of equal access to material information affecting the company," Lim said.

Lim pointed out that listed companies are required to make simultaneous disclosure of information to the SEC/PSE before they upload any information to a public venue such as a company website even if it is not their website.

"The exchange is in the forefront of a campaign for all listed companies to observe the best corporate governance practices," Lim said.

Failure of Apex to comply with the PSE directive will result in the adoption of appropriate measures to protect the interest of the investing public," Lim said.

Apex earlier said it completed the first phase of the construction of its Masara Gold Mine located in Southeastern Mindanao. The property is located in Compostela Valley, which is one of the most prolific gold belts in the Philippines.

The first phase of the plant, which can process 500 tons of ore per day, had been commissioned on Nov. 30.

The second phase, on the other hand, is expected to increase the plant’s capacity by 2,400 tons per day. Apex expects to complete its construction in the second quarter of 2007.

Apex Mining said exploratory drilling had confirmed that the Masara mine had numerous veins.

UK-based Crew Gold and its affiliate, Mapula Creek Gold Corp. acquired 72.8 percent of Apex in August 2005.

Crew Gold is confident that the acquisition of Apex will assist the company in reaching its goal of becoming a mid-tier gold producer by 2007. The company believes that the Philippines represents a considerable potential for additional opportunities which will contribute to its long-term growth plans.

With gold as its principal product, Apex is primarily engaged in mining gold, silver, copper, lead and other precious metals. It traces its roots to Samar Mining Co. Inc., which was mining and milling large, though low grade, ore zones containing copper, gold and silver and magnetite.

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