AgSur miner expels Aussie partners from board after IP protest

By Chris Panganiban

March 6, 2023, 8:51 pm

<p>Home page of the Australian mining firm Ten Sixty Four Limited. <em>(<a href=""></a>)</em></p>

Home page of the Australian mining firm Ten Sixty Four Limited. (

ROSARIO, Agusan del Sur – Philsaga Mining Corporation's (PMC) shareholders voted to replace three Australians and a Filipino working for Australian mining company Ten Sixty Four Limited (ASX: X64) from the seven-member board during the annual stockholders meeting Monday.

The vote came a week after the province's major tribal groups declared PMC's foreign partners as persona non grata for allegedly failing to meet their contractual obligations.

X64 is accused of defaulting at least USD4,837,221 representing the operational costs and royalties to the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) who own parts of PMC's gold mines in the province.

"The recent incident of X64 refusing to pay the gold and silver proceeds was a sign that that good faith no longer existed, coupled with a declaration of persona non grata (against X64) by numerous tribal groups with whom the corporation has established very good relationship," lawyer Raul Villanueva, PMC president, said in an interview Monday.

Villanueva said the removal of the foreign partners from the board effectively made PMC a 100-percent Filipino corporation.

He also recounted how foreigners were present in the board when he first joined the Philsaga Board in August 2009 as its corporate secretary.

He was informed by the late former president, retired Army colonel Samuel Afdal, that this was done to honor the shareholders of Medusa Mining Limited (now known as X64), who worked hard to raise money and turn Philsaga into a significant mining firm.

At least 40 percent of the grandparent firm is owned by X64.

Villanueva said that Australian mining corporations are recognized as industry leaders in terms of corporate governance, safety, and mining standards, and their advice is greatly appreciated.

But foreign directors are not involved in the company's management or financial matters, he said, adding that "up to the most recent occurrences, Filipinos and Australians cooperated under the tenets of good faith and trust."

This practice was continued when he took office, Villanueva said.

He reassured the firm's workers that efforts are being made to safeguard the livelihood of some 5,000 employees, most of whom are IPs.

In order to continue the mining operations, he also called on local authorities to continue maintaining peace and order within the mining areas of the province. (PNA)