Aussie mine firm halts N. Vizcaya operations

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya–Australian mining firm OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. on Tuesday announced it was stopping work at its US$117-million gold-copper project in upland Kasibu town, amid a series of controversies that has hounded its operations in the past six months.

A statement, Darren Clinck, vice president for corporate and investor relations, said OceanaGold was suspending a number of construction contracts as it tries to cut down on company expenses while looking for additional funding.

“As a result, the project completion date is expected to extend beyond mid-year 2009,” he said.

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Reality bites

‘Biting’ raps vs N. Vizcaya priest dropped

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya–The provincial prosecutor’s office here on Wednesday dismissed the unjust vexation charges against a Catholic priest for allegedly biting the lips of a woman in July last year.

In a resolution, Prosecutor Marianina Claudette Guilbert moved for the dropping of the complaint filed against Fr. Elmer Saludares, parish priest of Saint Anne Parish in Dupax Del Norte town for lack of merit and for having been filed out of time.

The suit arose from a complaint filed by one Genalyn Abello, allegedly an entertainer at a videoke bar in San Antonio village in Bambang town, who accused Saludares of supposedly kissing her and biting her lips on the night of July 17, 2007.

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