Tribune Acquires Philippines-based Diwalwal Gold Project

Tribune Resources (ASX:TBR) has acquired 100 percent of Singapore-based Prometheus Developments, which holds the rights to the Diwalwal gold project in the Philippines.

Prometheus has also entered into an investment agreement with Paraiso Consolidated Mining and a joint venture agreement with JB Management Mining.

These agreements will allow Prometheus to acquire an 80-percent economic interest and 40-percent legal interest in three mining tenements that cover the Diwalwal gold project.

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To acquire Prometheus, Tribune issued 5.5 million shares in the company at a price of $ 4.50 per share, bringing the deal’s total price tag to $ 24.75 million. Additionally, Tribune will pay US$ 4 million in the near future to the Philippine Mining and Development Corporation for the Victory Tunnel project, which is part of the investment agreement with Paraiso.

Tribune Director Gordon Sklenka commented on the acquisition, specifically noting the benefits of attaining the Diwalwal project and the company’s plans for the new asset.

“Diwalwal ticks all the right boxes for us in terms of adding value for shareholders. The project has secure tenure, excellent grades, prospective geology and the potential for the delineation of a very large gold deposit,” he said in a statement.

“Following the acquisition, we look forward to commencing drilling and defining a JORC-2012 compliant mineral resource in the first half of 2019,” he added.

Tribune’s entrance into the Philippines follows a tumultuous two years for the country’s mining industry, as political challenges have been steadily keeping companies at bay.

In 2016, environmentalist Regina Lopez was appointed secretary of the country’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and subsequently introduced severe mining bans and regulations.

Mine closures and permit denials sent shockwaves through the mining community, including the Philippines’ Chamber of Mines, which said 1.2 million workers would lose their jobs due to the changes.

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However, the tides turned last May when Lopez was ousted by the Congress of the Philippines, with President Rodrigo Duterte giving her position to Roy Cimatu. He has a background in the armed forces, and is anticipated to create balance between the mining industry and environmental initiatives.

Cimatu hasn’t lifted Lopez’s regulations yet, and has stated that a ban on new open-pit mines could continue into 2019 if miners do not comply with mandated tree planting. Even so, miners feel more optimistic with him in charge than with Lopez at the helm.

The Philippines ranked 20th in terms of gold production last year, and is a significant producer of nickel. Tribune’s share price was at AU$ 4.20 as of 9:40 a.m. PST on Friday (December 7), down 7.69 percent.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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