MANILA, June 11 The Philippine Court of Appeals
has temporarily set aside an order barring Australian miner
OceanaGold (OGC.AX) (OGC.TO)from operations at a gold-copper
project in the north of the country, officials said.
The court said in a ruling on Tuesday it was restraining
the local government in the province of Nueva Vizcaya from
acting on a cease and desist order against Oceanagold for a
period of 60 days.
The cease and desist order was issued by provincial
governor Luisa Cuaresma after the firm declined to pay 30
million pesos ($680,000) for a quarrying permit.
The central government has already said that Oceanagold
need not pay for the permit since it was not doing any
The court said it was also told that police and troops had
forced their way into the Oceanagold premises to block mining
operations and created "an atmosphere of tension and antagonism
in the locality".
"All these circumstances combined sufficiently to convince
this court of the necessity of a temporary restraining order,
so as to avert further hostilities and to avoid this
controversy from spiralling into more violent proportions," it
Only around $1 billion has flowed into the Philippine
mining industry in overseas investment since 2004 but the
government is hoping this will surge to around $10 billion
within the next three years due to record commodity prices and
the country's proximity to resource-hungry China.
But local governments, land ownership disputes, communist
and Muslim insurgencies and bureaucratic red tape can hold up
projects in the Philippines for decades, despite the central
government's public support for the sector, miners and fund
managers have said.
OceanaGold has so far raised about $200 million to develop
its Didipio site in Nueva Vizcaya, around 270 km (168 miles)
north of Manila.
The mine is expected to produce around 120,000 ounces of
gold and around 15,000 tonnes of copper concentrate a year in
the first 10 years of production.
In 2009, while it is still ramping up output, Didipio is
expected to produce around 60,000 ounces of gold. The mine is
expected to have a minimum life of 15 years.
(Reporting by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Anshuman Daga)