Posted on December 10, 2020
The government has greenlighted the first large-scale offshore mining in the country set to begin operations in Cagayan in January next year – considered a boon for the mineral sector, but a bane to the residents who remain wary of how the gigantic project would affect their communities.
A statement was released to the press on Saturday stating that JDVC Resources Corporation, a majority-owned subsidiary of Apollo Global Capital, is now ready to proceed with its offshore mining operations after securing the necessary permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Under its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement, it is allowed to mine within an area of 1,903 hectares in the seabed off Cagayan, located 14 kilometers offshore from the municipality of Gonzaga.
The company also forged an agreement with billionaire Frank Lao of the Choi Garden restaurant group, who is also engaged in nickel trading. Lao is set to provide two deep-sea mining vessels for the operation, with a net capacity of 10,000 tons per day. Once the vessels arrive in January, the offshore mining will proceed.
Ore reserves in the area were projected to reach around 632 million tons of magnetite – a kind of iron-oxide mineral used to make steel.