JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed gold miner Mount Ridley Mines has acquired Singapore-based Prometheus, which owns the rights to the high-grade Diwalwal gold project, on the island of Mindanao, in the Philippines.
Mount Ridley will issue about 1.59-billion fully paid ordinary shares in exchange for 100% of the issued capital of Prometheus, which has agreements in place allowing it to acquire an 80% economic interest in two mining tenements covering Diwalwal.
The project has been the focus of artisanal mining for more than 30 years and a significant amount of gold – government estimates suggest 2.7-million ounces – has been extracted from two large, high-grade vein systems – Balite and Buenas-Tinago – over that period.
Further, Prometheus has been working closely with government agency the Philippine Mining Development Corporation (PMDC) over the past 12 months with the objective of consolidating the Diwalwal tenements and bringing responsible mining to the region, which has suffered environmental contamination from the artisanal activity.
“The Philippine government has been very clear in its desire to improve working and living standards in the area and bring mining practices in line with modern day expectations,” says mining engineer and Prometheus co-founder Kabir Osman, who will join Mount Ridley as MD.
“We see our role as not only conducting responsible exploration and mining activities, but ensuring the community and the Philippine government share in the growth of Diwalwal. More specifically, our community programmes will focus on immediate needs such as employment, health, drinking water and education.”
Prometheus is currently planning its own underground diamond drilling programme with a view to confirming the high-grade mineralisation encountered in the PMDC drilling and identifying additional economic mineralisation. Recent rock chip sampling on exposed mineralised veins from underground completed by the company have returned grades of up to 43 g/t gold.
Mount Ridley’s acquisition of Prometheus is subject to the completion of due diligence, the receipt of shareholder approval at a meeting scheduled for April and the completion of capital raising, as well as other standard conditions for a transaction of this nature.
Diwalwal is situated on the eastern side of Mindanao, along the Philippine fault and about 80 km south of ASX-listed Medusa Mining’s Co-O gold mine.