Bluebird Merchant Ventures (EPIC: BMV) (Bluebird or The Company) announces to the market that further to its recent announcement on 3 February 2017 regarding a local partner for its Philippine project that the binding definitive agreement is expected to be signed within March.
The Company notes that there has been some uncertainty in the Philippines of late regarding mining policy. The Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has stated that a number of operating mines would be suspended from operations citing environmental related issues. The President of the Philippines has advised the Secretary of the DENR to allow due process. To Management’s knowledge mining operations continue at the affected mines pending the outcome of due process.
Furthermore, the Secretary of the DENR has identified a number of mining licences which she believes are in watershed areas and has in the press advised such licence holders to show cause as to whether there are proclaimed watershed areas within the contract area. Egerton Gold Philippines Inc (EGPI) is the licence holder of the Batangas project and has also being asked to demonstrate if there is a proclaimed watershed within the contract area. The Company wishes to clearly state that there are no proclaimed watershed areas within the contracted areas either presently nor were there at the time when the government of the Philippines entered into the agreement. From the current records of the Forest Management Bureau, the office that has jurisdiction and authority over watershed reservations, there exists no proclaimed watershed forest reserve in Lobo, Batangas, the area over which EGPI operates as authorized under its MPSA (mining licences) with the Republic of the Philippines. Furthermore, the data of the Forest Management Bureau is confirmed by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Mining Tenement Maps as of January 2017.
The Company will be responding this week to advise the DENR that there are no declared watershed areas that exist within the contracted area. Management is confident of the good standing of the mining licences issued by the government of the Philippines. A mining licence is a government contract issued in good faith by the government and as such there are certain investment guarantees given. The Company is confident that conditions within the mining industry will improve to the industry’s benefit in the coming weeks.