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Philippines mines regulator approves $2 bln King-King copper-gold project

MANILA, Jan 7 (Reuters) - The Philippines’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has given its approval for the $2 billion King-King copper-gold mine project in the country’s southern mining province of Compostela Valley, the agency’s top official said on Thursday.

King-King, one of a few mining projects approved under the administration of President Benigno Aquino, is not covered by a local ban on new mineral agreements, which has been in place since 2011 pending the legislation of a new revenue sharing agreement between the government and miners.

Construction can start after the Filipino developer, Nationwide Development Corporation (Nadecor) has complied with certain conditions, MGB Director Leo Jasareno told Reuters.

King-King is an open-pit mine that could have an annual output of 138 million pounds of copper, about half a million ounces of silver, and more than 236,000 ounces of gold over a period of 22 years.

Toronto-listed St. Augustine Gold & Copper Ltd also has a stake in the project. (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Sunil Nair)