Glencore Xstrata to exit Philippines Tampakan copper and gold project

Glencore Xstrata Plc plans to sell its 62.5-per cent stake in its Tampakan copper and gold project in the Philippines, its joint venture partner Indophil Resources NL said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

Glencore Xstrata to exit Philippines Tampakan copper and gold project''Glencore-Xstrata has informed Indophil of its preference to divest its stakes in Tampakan. This is consistent with Glencore's preference not to develop greenfield projects,'' Indophil said in a report to Australian Stock Exchange.

Indophil, which has the right of first refusal, said that no formal divestment process has begun but discussions have been ongoing.

Glencore-Xstrata, the mining and commodities trading giant, holds a 62.5-per cent stake in the joint venture Sagittarius Mines Inc, which is the operator of the Tampakan project, while Indophil holds the remaining 37.5 per cent.

Located in southern Philippines, the $5.9 billion Tampakan copper and gold project is the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposit in the South East Asia.

The latest resource estimate as of January 2010 is 2.9 billion tonnes at 0.51 per cent copper and 0.2 g/t gold, representing copper reserves of 15 million tonnes and gold of almost 18 million ounces.

But the Tampakan project has faced delays due to regulatory issues after a ban on open-pit mining has been in place since 2010.