Apollo Global Capital Corp. said unit JDVC Resources is set to start the commercial operation by the end of this month its offshore magnetite iron mining in Cagayan, the first in the country.
Apollo said the operation will have minimal impact on the sea environment “as studies by a Singapore-based survey company showed no coral or aquamarine life within the mining area, which is 150 meters below sea level.”
Jun Herrera, JDVC and APL consultant, said the first newly-built deep sea mining vessel has arrived in Cagayan and is presently taking shelter due to strong waves.
“But as soon as the ocean swell subsides, mining operations are expected to commence by mid or end February,” he said.
“The first vessel has arrived and three more vessels are expected to arrive this year,” Herrera said.
The vessel is capable of commercial extraction, testing and sampling and production of magnetite iron.
Apollo described as baseless a complaint of residents Ballesteros, Cagayan alleging the planned offshore mining operations of JDVC Resources will cause damage to coral beds saying the study cited by the complainants was referring to a different part of the ocean compared to the mining site.
“That’s a different part of the Pacific. It looks at the ocean bed more than 200 meters below sea level, whereas we can only go down to 150 meters with current technology.
Moreover, the Smith study did not look at magnetite iron reserves. From the experience of countries like Indonesia, Japan, and New Zealand, magnetite iron is known to be toxic to corals, fish and other aquamarine life,” the company said.