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Dabawenyo Minerals-Hanwa JV deal over Mati mine still a go

October 28, 2008 3:01am
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Dabawenyo Minerals Corp. will pursue its joint venture agreement with a Japanese company over the plan to mine 5,000 of about 6,900 hectares of mineral area in Mati City, Davao Oriental.

The area is covered by a mineral production sharing deal between the government and Dabawenyo Minerals.

Said J. Sayre, chairman of the mining firm, said he and a representative of the Hanwa Co. Ltd. of Japan have resumed talks to finalize the joint venture pact.

"We will pursue what we have begun," said Mr. Sayre who just reassumed chairmanship after a trial court imposed a 20-day stay order on a civil case filed against him by his former colleagues in Dabawenyo Minerals.

The company has a separate partnership deal with a Chinese company for the development of 1,000 hectares of the same mineral area covering the barangays of Tagbinonga, Taguibo and San Salvador Lopez, which is about an hour drive from the center of Mati City.

Geologists at Hanwa visited the mining site about two weeks ago to look into its mineral deposits, as the Japanese firm was particularly interested in molybdenum. The mineral is an additive that makes steel stronger.

Mr. Sayre said he has started discussing with a Taiwanese company over the possibility of mining the remaining 900 hectares of the site.

Recently, Regional Trial Court Branch 10 Judge Jose Emmanuel M. Castillo handed down a ruling that barred Mr. Sayre from sitting as chairman of Dabawenyo Minerals on allegations of unilaterally forging deals with companies buying raw minerals. — Carmelito Q. Francisco, BusinessWorld
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