BRACING UP: As Apex eyes to hike gold output to 3,000 tons daily

The Apex Mining Company Inc. has shifted its focus in developing mining areas in preparation for full-blast operation that would be able to produce 3,000 tons of ore daily.

“We are going full-blast in two to three years,” Atty. Rodolfo Palma, AMCI vice president of legal services AMCI, told the Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday.

He said this was mandated by the environmental compliance certificate issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The Compostela Valley-based AMCI operates in 2200 hectares of land, notably in the eight barangays of Masara, New Leyte, New Barili, Teressa, Mainit And Ilizaldy,Tagbaros in the municipality of Maco and barangay Golden Valley and in the municipality of Mabini.

At the same time, he said Apex has been forking out an average of three to five million pesos monthly to the indigenous Mansaka populations through IP organization.

The amount represents the IP’s share from the production milling monthly. This is one of the royalty fees the company has been obligated to pay in agreement with the IPs who hold a certificate of ancestral domain title over the mining areas.

“The National Commission of Indigenous People is supposed to guide them in using this royalty, we cannot fully say for them but I think they have procedures to guide the members of the IP on proper usage of the royalty that they receive,” he said.

“As far as I know, the payment will not be released to them if they haven’t developed an Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development Protection Program (ADSPP) in addition to a community royalty development plan ,” he added.

The company has approximately 2,000 workers directly hired by the company, some of them IPs.

Considering that the company operates in an area covered by ancestral domain title, it is obligated to give one percent of the gross income to the host communities.

The royal fees from the production milling is another obligation. The third obligation is compensation for damages incurred by the mining company’s operations on the livelihood of the host communities.

“The crop damage compensation is given immediately to the individual who tills the land and the basis for that are the approved assessed schedules of the municipal and provincial assessor,” said Ferdinand Dobli, Community Relations Manager of AMCI.

The two Apex officials that since 2006, the release of royalty fees have not been regular.

But with the assumption of Dr. Walter Brown as president, the release of royalty fees for surface rights have been regular.