The project in question is the $US5 billion ($A5.77 billion) Tampakan copper and gold project, managed and owned 62.5% by Xstrata and 37.5% by Australian company Indophil Resources through operating entity Sagittarius Mines Inc.
Indophil has been the subject of a takeover bid from China's largest gold producer and third-largest copper producer Zijin Mining Group since December last year, which values the company at $A545 million based on its price of $1.28 a share.
The bid closes on July 9.
Indophil moved from a trading halt to a request for voluntary suspension until June 23 this morning.
With the government in transition following the recent election, Indophil is seeking clarity from relevant government officials and Xstrata subsidiary Sagittarius Mines.
Miningnews.net is aware that Sagittarius president Peter Forrestal is currently in the Philippines to progress talks with the relevant authorities as he was on route to the company's provincial office when contacted for comment.
However, Indophil corporate affairs manager Gavan Collery said the fact Forrestal was in the Philippines "was important and said a lot in terms of him personally managing the issue".
"Indophil will continue to work with Xstrata to address this issue with local authorities," Collery told Miningnews.net.
Continued media reports from the country predict that outgoing provincial governor of South Cotabato is considering approving a local government unit proposal to introduce an environmental code which contains a ban on open pit mining in the area.
These same reports also confirm that any such ban is beyond the scope of authority of local legislation.
The Tampakan project has an indicated and inferred resource of 2.4 billion tonnes at 0.6% copper and 0.2 grams per tonne gold based on a 0.3% copper cut-off grade, or a contained 15.8 million ounces of gold and 13.5 million tonnes of copper metal.
A final feasibility study on its development is due to be completed by Xstrata in the current quarter.