Letter to the Shareholders
To our Shareholders,
Your new management took over in October 2009 and has devoted the past year to carefully evaluate potential investments in copper, gold, and nickel mines. Our emphasis was on projects within the Philippines and the Asean region, which operated on projects in the past and which stopped operations due to low metal prices or other factors which, if addressed properly, would justify resuming operations. We then looked at projects in an advanced stage of exploration and development as a second option and finally at a number of greenfield exploration projects.
This review covered a total of thirteen (13) different sites within the Philippines, four (4) in Cambodia and five (5) in Laos.
While some of the sites passed our technical and financial due diligence, a combination of concerns about legal title and/or appropriate sharing arrangements resulted in no agreement being reached on any of the priority areas within the period under review. Last November 2010, the Company filed a civil case against Intex Resources ASA for specific performance after it refused to sell and transfer to our Company its ownership over a Norwegian company that has beneficial ownership and control of nickel mining claims in Mindoro, despite prior agreement by the parties.
We are however optimistic that we will come to an agreement with regard to one gold project in an advanced stage of development within the first half of 2011 and hopefully commence commercial expectations before the end of the year.
With regard to greenfield exploration areas, we have had more optimism in Laos and Cambodia.
Based on these results, we plan to open an exploration office in Laos and begin an aggressive but systematic evaluation of several prospects offered to us for joint venture, as well as possibly filing applications for new areas.
Regarding our Philippine exploration efforts, we will continue to pursue possible joint ventures on two (2) copper projects and two (2) nickel projects in the expectation that the legal impediments and/or commercial terms can be resolved within the year.
At our last stockholders meeting, we made a firm commitment to do our best to restore Atok-Big Wedge’s position as a contributor to the development of the natural resources in the Philippine and the Asean region.
We have made a modest beginning and, with your continued support, we are confident we will achieve this goal in the near future.