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Canadian miner's affiliate holds off Philippine IPO plan as mine faces suspension

| MANILA, Sept 29

MANILA, Sept 29 A Philippine nickel miner, partly owned by Canada's TVI Pacific Inc, said it has put on hold a plan to list on the local stock exchange after the government said its mine may be suspended for environmental violations.

TVI Resource Development (Philippines) Inc (TVIRD) holds a 60 percent stake in Agata Mining Ventures Inc. Agata's nickel laterite mine on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao is among 20 more mines that the government's environment agency said may be halted. Manila has already suspended 10 mines in an audit over the past two months.

Each of the 20 mines would be given seven days to explain any alleged violations and how to rectify them, before a final decision is made, government officials said on Tuesday.

Suspending another 20 would leave only 11 operating mines in the Southeast Asian country, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the world's mined nickel supply - most of which is shipped to China.

Citing the "uncertain environment in which the Philippine mining industry has operated" since the Department of Environment and Natural Resources launched a mining audit in July, TVIRD said it "has placed all activities relating to its previously proposed listing on the Philippine Stock Exchange and initial public offering (IPO) on hold."

It was not the first time that TVIRD has postponed its IPO plan.

The company, in which Canada's TVI has a 30.66 percent interest, initially planned its Philippine listing in December last year, before moving it to Feb. 29 and later to the second half of this year, citing volatile market conditions.

Private-owned Filipino firm Prime Resource Holdings Inc is the controlling shareholder of TVIRD.

(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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