TVI Pacific Inc.
TSX : TVI

TVI Pacific Inc.

May 16, 2006 14:03 ET

TVI Pacific Lauded by Canadian Ambassador and Philippine Secretary for its Responsible Mining and Environmental Practices

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - May 16, 2006) - TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX:TVI) ("TVI" or the "Company") is pleased to report that the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Angelo T. Reyes and Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Sutherland stated the inauguration of TVI's US$3.3 million Gossan Tailings Dam symbolizes the Company's concern for the environment and adherence to good corporate citizenship. The top officials of the two governments graced the inaugural ceremonies at TVI's Canatuan Project in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines, highlighted by a dedication and blessing ritual conducted by the Council of Elders of the Subanon indigenous people.

Located approximately 800 meters from the mine workings, the Gossan Dam represents a major environmental management control feature within the overall Canatuan gold and silver mining operations. Consisting of a dam, overflow spillway, impoundment area and an upstream diversion dam, the Gossan Dam was designed and constructed to provide a controlled and safe disposal facility for tailings produced by the mine and milling operations. Designed and supervised by a leading Canadian/international engineering firm, the Gossan dam is "as good as any such structure anywhere in the world," said TVI Corporate Advisor John Ridsdel, welcoming the Secretary and the Ambassador to the inauguration ceremony.

Reyes said TVI Canatuan meets the three criteria of a responsible mining operation: it contributes to economic growth, creates social equity, and it participates in the protection and sustainable development of the country and its resources. He acknowledged TVI's efforts in providing basic services to the Subanon title holders of the Canatuan ancestral domain in the areas of health, education and livelihood.

"We see here a company that is from all indications practicing responsible mining, contributing to the economic growth not only of the community but also of the entire country; serving the community and ensuring that the environment is not damaged, but is protected and, subsequently, rehabilitated," Reyes noted.

Sutherland said that "mining issues in the Philippines and in Canada are almost the same," including those that pertain to environmental safety as well as working with and communicating in local and indigenous host communities.

"We are very pleased that TVI has set a good example here in the Philippines," Sutherland added. "In Canada, mining is a big and important business and TVI is part of that. And because our companies are involved not just in Canada but also around the world, being a good corporate citizen is absolutely essential. It's not only the right thing to do. It is good business. We are happy of what TVI is accomplishing here...It shows that mining and environmental protection are not incompatible."

Siocon Mayor Ceasar Soriano expressed satisfaction over what TVI has been doing in the municipality. "We appreciate TVI's efforts to assure the people of Siocon that everything will be alright. We take note of this great effort in order to help the people of Siocon."

Reyes continued, "when we invite companies to invest in the Philippines we tell them: 'come here, invest your money, bring expertise, bring technology, but engage in responsible mining and impose the same rigid standards that you impose on yourselves when you explore and develop in your own countries.' We see that this company is observing the rigid standards for mining operations being imposed by the Philippine government."

Reyes and Sutherland also awarded to a representative of the Special CAFGU Active Auxillary (SCAA) the certificate of completion of the Human Rights special training program that SCAA personnel had attended to ensure heightened sensitization of human rights issues and management on the part of the Company's security personnel. The training - a joint effort of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and TVI - is a first for the Commission and the mining industry. CHR Education and Research Division Chief Armando Borromeo was on hand to witness the awarding.

Reyes pointed out that the SCAA is under the control of the 44th Infantry Battalion of the AFP's Southern Command of which he was commander prior to becoming the AFP Chief of Staff. He became Secretary of National Defense and of the Interior and Local Government before assuming his current post at the DENR.

Construction of the Gossan Dam commenced in April 2005, and the first stage was completed and commissioned in September 2005 at 25 meters in height. The second stage construction commenced in December 2005 at the end of the rainy season, and an additional 17 meters of embankment was placed. The dam reached the maximum height of 42 meters on April 2, 2006.

Further protection is provided by a smaller earth fill dam and spillway known as the Diversion Dam, which protects the natural stream of Canatuan Creek from mixing with the water and tailings stored in the Gossan Dam impoundment. This further increases the factor of safety and minimizes the risk of dam overtopping.

Design criteria for both the Gossan and Diversion Dams were based on Philippine standards and regulations as well as various operations and engineering criteria used in Canada.

Both spillways were designed to pass what are known as the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) and Maximum Credible Earthquake (MCE), representing maximum rainfall and maximum earthquake events, respectively, that could occur at the mine site. PMF applied is approximately 12 times the maximum daily rainfall ever recorded in Canatuan and is most likely to occur once every 1,000 years. MCE analysis is based on the area's geologic conditions and the proximity of faults. This approximates an earthquake event having a 1,000-year probability and an intensity of about 8.5.

For further environmental information on TVI's Canatuan Mine and for accompanying photo's please visit http://www.tvicanatuan.com/ and see the "news" section.

About TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX: TVI)

TVI Pacific Inc. is a publicly-listed (TSX:TVI) mining company focused on exploring for and producing precious and base metals within district scale systems in Asia.

In the Philippines, TVI's most advanced project, the Canatuan Mine began mining and milling operations in mid 2004, producing gold and silver dore. Mill throughput is currently 1,400 dmtpd ( greater than 150 AuEqOz per day) from a gossan/oxide zone. Further expansion of the mill's processing capacity is underway. Subject to receiving an updated positive feasibility study, expansion plans for 2006 contemplate the construction of a sulphide flotation plant at Canatuan to process both copper and zinc concentrates from a sulphide zone. In addition, TVI holds a 2.5% net smelter return (NSR) royalty on the Philippine-based Rapu Rapu project (the second foreign-invested, new, mining project in the Philippines), which commenced operations in July 2005, with royalty cash flow to TVI beginning in Q4, 2005. Exploration in the Philippines is being conducted at Canatuan (both to expand TVI's resource base and to find new deposits), and at Balabag, which management of TVI views as a compelling exploration property.

In China, TVI's wholly-owned Chinese subsidiary, Hunan Pacific Geological Exploration Inc. (HPGEI) is the first and only foreign mining company to be granted both WOFE status and a Qualified Explorer License. HPGEI has three main areas of interest in China - gold exploration in the Golden Triangle, a prospective metallogenic region in the provinces of Guizhou, Yunnan and Guangxi Autonomous Region, copper/gold exploration in Yunnan Province and copper/gold exploration in the Tibet Autonomous Region. HPGEI has 168,200 hectares of land under application in China in the Golden Triangle and in the Tibet A.R.

TVI also has a Drilling Division comprising of Exploration Drilling Corporation (EDCO), a wholly-owned subsidiary of TVI Pacific Inc. based in the Philippines, and Hunan Pacific Drilling (HPD), a division of HPGEI based in China which generates revenue from contract drilling.

The statements set out in this News Release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements (often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "expect", "may", "anticipate" or "will" and similar expressions) may include plans, expectations, opinions, or guidance that are not statements of fact. Forward-looking statements are based upon the opinions, expectations and estimates of management as at the date the statements are made and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or outcomes to differ materially from those anticipated or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include such things as the volatility of prices for precious metals and base metals, commodity supply and demand, fluctuations in currency and interest rates, inherent risks associated with the exploration and development of mining properties, ultimate recoverability of reserves, timing, results and costs of exploration and development activities, availability of financial resources or third-party financing, new laws (domestic or foreign) and changes in exploration plans or budgets. Forward-looking information respecting expansion plans at the Canatuan mine, exploration throughout the Philippines, including the Balabag and Tamarok projects, and exploration in China as well as anticipated improvements in the Company's Drilling Division are based upon the current budget, development plans and overall strategy of TVI, all of which are subject to change.

Forward-looking information concerning recommencement of operations by the operator of the Rapu Rapu property and timing of royalty payments to the Company in respect of production at Rapu Rapu are based upon public statements made by the operator of the Rapu Rapu property. Forward-looking information relating to anticipated growth in gold and silver production at Canatuan for the remaining quarters of 2006 and mining throughput at Canatuan for the balance of 2006 are based upon results of operations in 2005 in Q1 2006 and the current budget, development plans and overall strategy of TVI, all of which are subject to change. Forward-looking information relating to the anticipated construction of a sulphide flotation plant and related infrastructure at Canatuan is premised upon receipt of a positive sulphide feasibility study and timing of receipt of such study is based upon advice received from the third-party mining engineering firm engaged to produce the same. Forward-looking information respecting timing of receipt of certain approvals required to undertake exploration activities in China are based upon advice received from departmental officials and TVI's advisers in China. Readers are cautioned that the letter agreement entered into between TVI Pacific and Phelps Dodge Exploration Corporation (PDEC) for copper exploration in China, does not obligate TVI or PDEC to enter into further definitive agreements respecting joint exploration of mineral properties in Yunnan Province, China and no assurance can be given that such definitive agreements will be successfully negotiated, executed and delivered by the parties. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. The forward-looking statements of TVI Pacific Inc. contained in this News Release are expressly qualified, in their entirety, by this cautionary statement. Various risks associated with the Company's exploration activities are described in detail in TVI's Annual Information Form, filed by TVI on SEDAR on March 30, 2006, which is available at www.SEDAR.com.


The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the information contained herein.

Contact Information

  • TVI Pacific Inc.
    Clifford M. James
    President and CEO
    (403) 265-4356
    (403) 264-7028 (FAX)
    Email: tvi-info@tvipacific.com
    Website: www.tvipacific.com
    or
    TVI Pacific Inc.
    Paul Moon
    Director, Corporate Communications
    (403) 265-4356