Iron Sands, Cagayan, Philippines
The Philippines in an archipelago of 7000 islands north of the equator, with the province of Cagayan situated at the northernmost top of the island of Luzon. It is closer and more accessible to the markets of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan than any other point of the Philippines. Sprawling over 9,005 square kilometres, the province of Cagayan is blessed with vast expanses of agricultural land and valuable hardwood forests and minerals.
The winding Cagayan River irrigates the alluvial plains and enriches it with sediments. Rich fishing grounds exist off the northern and eastern coasts while mineral resources such as titaneferons, magnetite, manganese, sulphur, limestone, clay and perlite exist in large quantities.
Iron deposits in Magnetite sand abound in endless quantities on the shores of Sanchez Mira, Pamplona, Abulog, Aparii, Ballesteros, Buguey, and Gonzaga in the Province of Cagayan Island, Luzon. The main drainage of the Cagayan Valley is the Cagayan River, which runs for a distance of over 250 kilometres and empties its load in Aparri.
Astra has expressed an interest in developing an iron sands project in Cagayan, Philippines. A Joint Venture Agreement has been signed between the Cagayan River Construction & Development Corporation (CRCDC) and Astra Far East Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Astra Resources.
The ultimate goal of the Joint Venture is off-shore mining of the magnetite sand. Astra intends to gain the authority to dredge, mine, extract and utilise ‘quarry resources’, sand particles and other materials of commercial value from the assigned area (a strip along the mouth of the Cagayan River, located in Aparri) for an extended period.
To get into dredging, CRCDC has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Province of Cagayan on May 4, 2012, the MOA grants to CRCDC the right to dredge and utilize the black sand. CRCDC has started the process of acquiring the necessary permits to begin operations. All requirements have been submitted to the authorities and are just awaiting approval. Meanwhile CRCDC’s application for Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECC) have been approved and was granted ECCs no. R02-1206-0099, R02-1206-0101, R02-1206-0100.
CRA has been allocated a portion of the Cagayan River Bed, a prime spot for magnetite dredging. The extraction site extends approximately 5 km to the North- Northwest from the mouth of the river and 7km upstream.
All rights granted to CRCDC have been assigned to Cagayan River Astra Philippines, Inc. (CRA), the corporation registered in the Philippines, that will undertake all dredging operations.
Astra is also in the process of acquiring additional mining areas along MPSA 1, 2, 3 and 4 to add to the Joint Venture.