CALGARY, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX: TVI) (OTCQX:TVIPF) (TVI or the Company) and its Philippine operating affiliate, TVI Resource Development (Phils.), Inc. (TVIRD) are pleased to introduce the management committee and Project Execution/Technology Development team for their joint venture projects with Mindoro Resources Ltd. (Mindoro). TVI and Mindoro have signed four joint venture agreements, previously announced on October 1, 2012, relating to the Agata and Pan de Azucar mining projects located in the Philippines on the Islands of Mindanao and Panay, respectively. The Mindoro joint venture projects are a significant opportunity for TVI, as detailed in a news release on February 7, 2013.
TVI is proud to announce that it has assembled a Project Execution/Technology Development team composed of highly experienced professionals, many of whom were most recently involved in development of an atmospheric tank leach process that is specifically suited to the extraction of nickel from tropical nickel laterite ore. The tank leaching technology is cost-effective, commercially viable and has low environment impact. TVI expects that this strong Project Execution/Technology Development team will realize the potential of the Mindoro joint venture projects more cost effectively and more efficiently, and in a shorter time period than would otherwise be possible. In addition, the Mindoro joint venture projects will be overseen by a management committee comprising members of the senior team of both Mindoro and TVIRD who have proven experience in the design and operation of projects in the Philippines, as well as a representative of the Minerals Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) holder, Minimax.
The managing committee for the Agata and Pan de Azucar mining projects includes: Atty. Eugene T. Mateo, President, TVIRD, Luis Jovito A. Santos, Vice President for Finance, TVIRD, Yulo Perez, Vice President for Operations and Chief Operating Officer, TVIRD, Tony Climie, Chief Executive Officer, Mindoro and Ma. Pauline De Guzman-Lague (representing the MPSA holder, Minimax).
Yulo Perez, Vice President for Operations & Chief Operating Officer, TVIRD
Mr. Perez joined TVIRD in 2004 and has over 30 years of mining experience both in the Philippines and abroad and with various mining commodities, including copper, zinc, iron, gold and lateritic nickel. Most notably, Mr. Perez spent 13 years at a large lateritic nickel project operated by a major international mining company in Indonesia where his last position was Mine Manager.
Mr. Perez is responsible for all aspects of TVIRD's mining projects and operations and oversees the operations and development of the Canatuan mine. Mr. Perez led the team that expanded the gold mine and processing plant to full commercial operations, later converting the plant into a copper and zinc ore mining and processing facility. Mr. Perez established operating management systems and processes at the Canatuan mine and is instrumental in managing the highly complex metallurgical nature of the Canatuan ore, ensuring it is within market specification. During Mr. Perez's tenure at TVIRD, the Canatuan mine has exceeded production expectations in both the gold and copper/zinc operations. To date, the copper/zinc mine has produced over 106 million pounds of copper equivalent contained in concentrates and is estimated to produce up to 170 million lbs Cu Eq, or about 83% more than that estimated in the original feasibility study. Doré production from the first gold plant produced over 135,000 ounces of gold equivalent during the first four years of gold operations, 10% more than the original gold operations feasibility study had projected. Under Mr. Perez' tenure, the operations have consistently been awarded top national awards in recognition of exemplary safety and environmental performance. Mr. Perez will oversee the activities of the Project Execution/Technology Development team for the Mindoro projects.
The Project Execution/Technology Development team reports to the Projects Director and comprises the following people:
Gary Leighton, (B.Sc. in Mining Engineering), Projects Director
Mr. Leighton has over 43 years of large-scale project management experience, including both open pit and underground mining experience. His most recent engagement in the Philippines was as the Project Director for the rehabilitation of the Carmen Copper, 42,000 tpd open pit mine and concentrator, which had been closed for 15 years. He is a Mining Engineer graduate from the Colorado School of Mines. Mr. Leighton has extensive international experience in the Philippines, Brazil, Canada, Chile, U.S., Mali, Indonesia, South Africa and Australia. He has a diverse working knowledge of gold, silver, copper, iron ore, manganese, aluminum and coal projects, design, construction and operations. Including as the Construction Manager of the Escondida Copper Concentration, Pipeline and Ship Loading Facilities and as the General Manager of the Zaldivar SX/EW Copper Project both in Chile. His team was also responsible to open the P.T. Arutmin Coal Mining Operation in Indonesia, now producing in excess of 18 million tonnes of coal annually.
Mr. Leighton will be directing and coordinating the project team to ensure that the work programs and budgets perform according to the approved plan. The initial focus will be the direct shipping ore (DSO) operations to generate early cash flow, followed by the development of the nickel plant.
Vincent Smith, M.Sc. Chemical Eng., Project Metallurgist
Mr. Smith has over 20 years of experience in metallurgical process development, operations and design across 50 mine sites encompassing 15 countries. For the past five years, Mr. Smith was the Group Technology Manager for ENK, and in this role, was responsible for all aspects of ENK's process technology development, viz. bench and pilot scale testing, flow-sheet development and process design for heap and atmospheric tank leaching of nickel laterite ore, as well as downstream recovery and purification of nickel and cobalt from the resulting pregnant leach solution. Additionally, Mr. Smith was responsible for the process plant technology and capital costing package that formed an integral part of ENK's Bankable Feasibility Study for the Acoje nickel laterite project in the Philippines.
Recently, Mr. Smith has developed a unique nickel laterite extraction and recovery process that is directly and immediately applicable to the Mindoro nickel processing plant project.
Vicki Smith, B.Sc. Chemical Eng., Project Metallurgist
Ms. Smith has over 15 years of experience in metallurgical process development, operations and design across 25 mine sites spanning 12 countries. During the past five years, Ms. Smith was the Technology Manager for ENK's Acoje project in the Philippines. In this role, she set up a state-of-the-art test facility at the Acoje project site and was responsible for the management and operation of this facility. The test-work conducted at this facility allowed the development of processes that are uniquely suited to extracting and recovering nickel and cobalt from tropical laterite ore. Additionally, Ms. Smith was responsible for all test-work and METSIM mass and energy balance modeling for ENK's Acoje project Bankable Feasibility Study. All process plant design and equipment sizing was based on the METSIM mass and energy balance.
Ms. Smith has developed a detailed METSIM model for the unique nickel laterite process of which she is a co-developer. This model will be incorporated into the Mindoro nickel processing plant design in a way that will significantly fast-track project development.
Nico van Niekerk, B.Tech. Civil Eng., Project Engineer
Mr. van Niekerk has over 15 years of extensive international experience in various phases of multi-disciplinary project engineering and construction implementation. During the past 12 years, Mr. van Niekerk developed infrastructure, engineering and construction solutions across various mine sites in 15 countries, including the Acoje Nickel Project in the Philippines, where he was the engineering manager.
Dallas Cox B.E.(Mining) MAusIMM(CP), Mining Consultant
Mr. Cox has over 31 years of experience in the mining industry. He has a degree in Mining Engineering from the University of New South Wales and holds First Class and Manager's Certificates of Competency in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. He has a broad range of international experience across Australia, Philippines, China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia and Bolivia.
Mr. Cox's experience in the nickel industry in Asia includes involvement with Queensland Nickel's Greenvale Nickel Project, Acoje Nickel Project (Rusina/ENK), Caga4 Nickel Project (PGMC), Verdent Vale Nickel Project (Bukidnon) and Çaldağ Nickel Project (ENK) in Turkey. He has been involved in various capacities with 12 projects in the Philippines since 2006, including Masbate Gold Project, Rapu Rapu Project, Didipio Gold Project, Nalesbitan Gold Project, Kay Tanda Gold Project and Runruno Gold Project.
He has worked with over 34 small and developing resource companies since 2004 as an independent mining engineer, providing technical services and operational support on 51 projects. He has carried out due diligence studies for Deutsche Bank and NI43-101 reports for TSX listed companies. Mr. Cox has been involved with Mindoro's nickel deposits in Agusen del Norte and their Pan de Azucar pyrite deposit, periodically, since 2007.
Peter Wallwin - PWA Limited - Process Consultant
Mr. Wallwin has over 36 years of experience in mining and minerals processing with companies such as Goldfields, Messina Limited and was a founder member of Time Mining, a project management and development group in 1990. Mr. Wallwin started PWA in late 1999, as a process consultancy operating internationally, which has developed to include, in conjunction with its associates, project development in recent years. He has held numerous positions and directorships, including general manager of an underground gold mine, project director, research and development manager and has project managed many successful projects from development to commissioning. The client list of PWA Limited includes many top international companies as well as many smaller innovative operators.
Mr. Wallwin has a wide range of experience in base and precious metals as well as coal and diamonds. A great deal of the technology that is applied to the innovative nickel processing method to be used to treat the Agata ore was developed for the ENK Acoje project by adapting these technologies. This provides an innovative process solution for the client based on sound and demonstrable principles. PWA Limited is based in Malaysia and is thus well acquainted with and ideally situated to service Asia.
Robert Jay Nelson, BS Civil Engineering, Vice President for Environment and Civil Works, TVIRD
Mr. Nelson is a Civil Engineer by training with 35 years of experience in the field of consulting engineering. He has been associated with TVIRD as a consultant and corporate officer since 1995. His primary area of responsibility is environmental management and civil engineering projects associated with permitting and environmental controls.
For the past 22 years, Mr. Nelson has been working within Asia and has been a resident in the Philippines since 1994. During his time in Asia, he has participated in environmental assessments and impact analysis as well as design-build waste management projects within Micronesia, hydropower feasibility studies, design and construction management in the Philippines and China, environmental cleanup assessments and cleanup programs for industrial sites in the Philippines and municipal water supply planning. During his time with TVIRD, he has been responsible for the preparation of project Environmental Impact Statements, Permitting and Environmental Work Programs. He was also responsible for the design and construction of six dams and tailings disposal facilities. Prior to moving to Asia, Mr. Nelson participated in the development of environmental management programs, civil engineering design and construction of facilities at mining projects throughout the western United States and the Caribbean. He has a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado and Masters Program in Water Resources engineering. He is a registered civil engineer in the United States and held previous positions as an Associate with Dames & Moore and Partner with Knight Piesold Consulting.
Mr. Nelson will be assisting the Execution/Technology Development team with respect to environmental permitting, environmental management programs, impact and risk assessment and the design and construction of civil engineering features.
Renne P. Subido, B.Sc. (Commerce), CPA, Vice President for Corporate Social Commitments, TVIRD
Mr. Subido is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of professional experience working in both private and government sectors in the area of management, enterprise development, trade and investment promotion, business support organizations, agribusiness and banking. Before joining TVIRD, he worked as the Deputy Program Manager for Business Growth Division for the USAID's GEM 3 Program, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project in collaboration with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA). Mr. Subido has been with TVIRD for 2.5 years. During his tenure at TVIRD he pioneered sustainability projects focused to enterprise development, capacity building and establishing partnerships aimed to increase sense of ownership among the projects' stakeholders.
Mr. Subido will be assisting the Execution/Technology Development team in establishing positive relations with the communities surrounding the Mindoro projects and in establishing sustainable (alternative livelihood) development programs in particular.
Edsel M. Abrasaldo, B.S. Geology, Vice President, MRL Nickel Philippines, Inc.
Mr. Abrasaldo has over 35 years of work experience in exploration and mining in the Philippines. He joined Mindoro as one of its pioneer employees in 1997, when the company first began to work in the country. Prior to his work with Mindoro, he was involved in the country-wide exploration for chromite with Philchrome Mining Corporation in joint-venture with Amax, Inc. and Kawasaki Steel from 1977 to 1986; and for copper-gold, gold, platinum group, manganese and non-metallic deposits with the Minimax group of companies from 1986 to 1997. The chromite exploration culminated in the discovery and operation of the J.E. Thompson Mine in Palawan, where state-of-the-art 40-TPH alluvial chromite processing facilities were set up by Kawasaki Steel. Mr. Abrasaldo ultimately managed the said mining operations in the early to mid-80's.
Mr. Abrasaldo became Exploration Manager of the Minimax group, which had joint-ventures with various Indonesian, Australian and English mining and exploration companies. He was involved in the identification of gold and copper-gold prospects in the Surigao District, Iloilo and Camarines Sur, which were joint-ventured by Minimax with Mindoro. His work with Minimax gave him exposure in managing country-wide exploration programs, overseeing one of the largest mining tenement holdings in the Philippines and vast experience in negotiating with a broad spectrum of mining and exploration stakeholders. Along with Mr. Subido, Mr. Abrasaldo will assist the Execution/Technology Development team in community relations specifically helping establish positive communication with the local government units ("LGUs").
The laterite DSO is expected to start commercial operation beginning in late 2013 depending on the approval of the Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility and the port development permit, among other things. The feasibility study for the nickel processing plant is underway and expected to be completed by the end of 2013, while plant construction is expected to commence in 2014 with the commissioning/commercial production of nickel hydroxide product in 2015, depending on the obtaining of permits in a timely manner, among other things.
About TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX: TVI) (OTCQX: TVIPF)
TVI Pacific Inc. is a publicly-traded Canadian company that is focused on the production, development, exploration and acquisition of resource projects in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. TVI produces copper and zinc concentrates from its Canatuan mine. TVI is a partner/operator in several joint venture projects in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea and also has an interest in an offshore Philippine oil property.
This news release contains certain forward-looking information (referred to herein as "forward-looking statements"). Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "anticipate", "plan", "intend", "estimate", "scheduled", "expect", "may", "will", "should", or similar words suggesting future activities or outcomes. The forward-looking statements set out in this news release include information relating to the Agata joint ventures; opportunities for exploration, development and commercialization of the Agata Mining Project (including the High Fe and Limestone DSO/Lime Production Facility and the Agata Nickel Processing Plant).
Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or outcomes to differ materially from those anticipated or implied by such forward-looking statements. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: (A) results of further work in pursuing the conceptual planning described in this news release not supporting current expectations as to the opportunities outlined; (B) TVIRD not funding the necessary expenditures at Agata to advance the projects or earn an interest under the joint venture agreements due to, among other things (i) changes in TVIRD's strategic priorities, due diligence findings, changes in laws or regulations affecting mining operations in the Philippines (including the profitability of such operations), and other factors, (ii) changes in TVIRD budgets and (iii) limited availability of funds; (C) a determination on the part of TVIRD not to pursue projects contemplated by one or more of the joint venture agreements noted above for technical, economic, legal or other reasons (including, without limitation, a failure to obtain required permits or other governmental or regulatory approvals); and (D) certain other risks identified elsewhere in TVI's public filings, including, without limitation, those risk factors set forth at pp. 46-52 of TVI's annual information form dated March 20, 2012. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance upon the forward-looking statements contained in this news release and such forward-looking statements should not be interpreted or regarded as guarantees of future outcomes.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and TVI does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the included forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable Canadian securities law. The forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the information contained herein.
SOURCE TVI Pacific Inc.