Philippines buccaneer backed by BritainPublished by MAC on 2008-08-11
UK firm to invest P500M in Surigao Norte copper gold mine
By Veronica Uy, INQUIRER.net
4th August 2008
MANILA, Philippines -- A British company is set to invest P500 million [around US$120 million]in a copper gold mine in Surigao Del Norte "if an exploratory mission successfully discovers sufficient reserves of the precious minerals," the embassy of the United Kingdom here said Monday.
In a press statement, the embassy said the investment from Anglo-American, which will be followed by operations in partnership with Philex Mining and Manila Mining, is expected to create some 2,500 jobs and double local taxes in the Surigao provinces.
According to the embassy, Anglo-American is one of the biggest mining corporations in the UK with a solid track record in responsible governance and sustainable environmental development.
The company plans to invest in a province that is listed among the top 10 poorest in the Philippines.
UK Ambassador to the country Peter Beckingham expressed his support for the British company's willingness to help local people rise up from poverty while protecting the environment.
He expressed confidence that Anglo-American is committed to uphold good relations with the local government and civil society.
"I am confident that the people of Surigao Del Norte would benefit from the proposed development of a copper/gold mine by Anglo American, the UK-headquartered mining company," Beckingham told some 100 businessmen in Surigao City during a recent visit.
"Conversely it would be a sad day for the Philippines and the province if opposition to Anglo-American's plans prevented the new investment; jobs and money in the local community would be lost," he said.
In the first visit of a UK ambassador to the province, Beckingham also visited a number of new tourist developments in Surigao, its ports, and the Surigao Heritage Centre.
"I heard from the center that a UK adventurer, William Dampier, was one of the first ever overseas explorers to visit the Philippines and Surigao, where he landed in 1686. It would be a great full circle if the UK can return with major investments in this beautiful province in the 21st century," the top British diplomat in the country said.