The country’s first large-scale offshore mining operation is set to start in January.
The project, which will extract magnetite iron reserves in the seabed of Gonzaga, Cagayan, is being jointly developed by JDVC Resources Corp., a subsidiary of publicly-listed company Apollo Global Capital and food entrepreneur, Frank Lao of the Choi Garden restaurant group.
The project involves a total mineral deposits of 512 million metric tons and a mining life of up to 47 years.
In a statement, JDVC said it has secured the full range of required mining, environmental and export licenses and permits from the government.
“Under a mine consortium agreement with JDVC, he (Lao) acquired two deep-sea mining vessels with a net capacity of 10,000 tons per day. The ships are expected to arrive in January, joining another vessel already deployed by JDVC over its offshore mining tenement miles away from the town of Gonzaga, Cagayan,” the company said.
JDVC’s extraction of iron ores would require siphon vessels with magnetic separator and processing apparatuses on board which would not cause any hazard to the environment.
Magnetite is an iron-oxide mineral used to make steel and other products and mainly shipped to China.
The company said investments for the project will reach $10 to $15 million (P480 to P720 million).
Under its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement with the government, JDVC is allowed to mine within an area of 1,902.59 hectares located 14 kilometers offshore from Gonzaga.