Philex eyes Padcal extension with add’l minerals found
Philex eyes Padcal extension with add’l minerals found

Ev Espiritu

The Manuel V Pangilinan-led firm says it found an additional 110.9 million tons of mineral resources – a find that could extend the mine’s life beyond 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Philex Mining Corporation’s find of additional mineral resources in its Padcal copper-gold mine may be able to extend its lifespan beyond 2020.

The Manuel V Pangilinan-led firm said an additional 110.9 million tons of mineral resources were found within 800 to 600 meter levels (ML) in its tenement, Philex said in a statement.

The resource volume corresponds to metal content of 473 million pounds of copper and 1.342 million ounces of gold.

“[This] is expected to augment the mineable inventory of the company and may likely extend the mine’s life beyond 2020,” Philex president Eulalio Austin Jr said.

Austin said Philex looks forward to the next two years of exploration within the vicinity of the Padcal mine to identify additional resources and increase the company’s current mineral inventory.

The completion of the new mineral resource estimate increases the Padcal mine’s total resources by 71% to 267.7 million tons as of the end of 2014. This also raises the contained metals to 1.23 billion pounds of copper (by 62%) and 3.24 ounces of gold (by 71%).

The mineral resources found, though, is not indicative of actual production for gold and copper but is an estimate based on drilling results.

Philex hit a 125%-increase in its net income in 2014 on improved revenues on the back of a higher number of operating days and cost streamlining.

The company announced a net income of P703 million ($15.63 million), up from P312 million ($6.94 million) reported in 2013 despite lower ore grade recovery and weakness in metal prices.

Philex also reported total revenues of P10.90 billion ($242.31 million) in 2014 against P9.80 billion ($217.79 million) in 2013.

The Padcal mine operated for a full-year in 2014 compared to only 10 months in 2013, resulting in a 23% increase in tonnage.

In August 2014, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) lifted the suspension on the gold and copper mine, saying impacts of the spill “have been substantially addressed to warrant the resumption of the normal operation of Philex.”

The letter noted the steps Philex had taken to provide reparation for damage, and rehabilitate and clean up the areas affected by the spill.

The company paid a fine of P1.034 billion ($22.99 million*) for discharging 20.7 million tons of tailings to the Balog and Agno Rivers – the biggest mining disaster in the country in terms of volume. –

US$1 = P44.97

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