Silangan Mindanao Mining Co. said Tuesday it will draw from the best practices of parent company Philex Mining Corp. as it pursues various environmental and social responsibility initiatives in areas around its Silangan Copper-Gold Project in Surigao del Norte province.
“The wealth of learnings we have accumulated over the past six decades that we have operated Padcal, the engine that has driven Philex’s growth has helped us hit the ground running in Surigao del Norte,” said Philex president and chief executive Eulalio Austin Jr.
Philex spent billions over the decades to develop communities in Benguet, which hosts Padcal, with the bulk of the money going to education, public infrastructure, information, education and communication.
Philex spent P107.5 million in 2020 for its social and development management program. Philex also continues to plant bamboo as part of its mine rehabilitation program and ensures compliance of standard quality of water resources provided for by the regulators within its mining claim.
Silangan Mining expects to spend P5 billion over the life of the mine for community development, environmental protection and enhancement program and for final mine rehabilitation and decommissioning.
It said that as Silangan project straddles the towns of Placer, Tubod, Tagana-an and Sison populated by half a million people, its initiatives would focus on education, livelihood, promotion of socio-cultural activities, information and education campaign programs, environment and rehabilitation programs in host communities.
The programs are in adherence to the environment compliance certificate granted to the Silangan project in July 2019 by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Among the civic projects of Silangan are the distribution of school supplies; donation of funds to Placer for emergency equipment for the Surigao Provincial Hospital in Barangay Bad-as; establishment of a 13-hectare farm planted to cacao and turmeric; and COVID-19 assistance in the form of cash-for-work program for marginalized constituents of Sison town.
Reforestation is aso one of the stronger commitments of the mining firm as it reforested 184 hectares and distributed nearly 25 hectares under its reforestation project.
“More than the corporate social responsibility initiatives, the mining project will bring investments and create jobs to the province. The project will also generate direct and indirect employment for around 8,000 people, about P86.7 billion in investments and will contribute P42 billion in government receipts throughout its 28 year mine life for the development of these areas in Surigao del Norte,” said Silangan chief operating officer Mike Toledo.
Silangan will begin in 2022 the development of a starter mine that is expected to go into commercial operation by early 2025.
Phase I of the Silangan project is estimated to cost P11.2 billion which will be financed from mixed funding sources.
The annual sustaining capex aggregates to P75 billion throughout the life of mine. It is programmed to be financed from the internal cash from operations of Silangan beginning 2025 for a total investment of about P86.7 billion.
The implementation of the Silangan Project will be initially funded from a combination of fresh equity infusion from the proceeds a pending stock rights offer of Philex and from internally-generated cash surplus from Padcal operations and potentially debt, should there be a need, according to the company.