Copper and gold miner Sagittarius Mines Inc. denied over the weekend what it called “unfounded insinuations” of tax fraud.
The miner said it is ready to take legal actions to protect its integrity, particularly on accusations hurled by the municipal government of Tampakan regarding municipal tax.
SMI said the tax collection case stemmed from the local government’s wrongful assessment of almost P400 million in local permits and levies on the company even if it is not yet operating the mine.
The firm said it filed the case before the courts to ferret out the truth in a fair manner and in the most appropriate forum.
It said while the tax case is still pending before the Court of Tax Appeals, there is no temporary restraining order on the company.
SMI said mining players and the mining industry, in general, quietly suffered while brandished as destroyer of the environment and communities, “and yet, for more than a century, the global mining industry has provided society the goods and services it needs and the modern amenities it enjoys.”
“Mining will become even more important as we move towards the path to a greener and more sustainable earth. For our well-endowed country, mining could help provide for our prosperity and propel our country up to its rightful high place in the world economic standing,” said SMI president Roy Deveraturda.
SMI said it decided to break its silence, not only to protect itself but also to help the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in educating the public.
It also called on the public to recognize the advances made in mining science and technology and acknowledge the critical role of DENR and MGB in balancing environmental protection and regulation of the mining industry.