Philex Mining Co. Inc. remains open to getting foreign investors to help develop the $1.7-billion gold and copper Silangan mine in Surigao del Norte province, a top executive said Thursday.
Philex chairman Manuel Pangilinan said in a news briefing the company was unsuccessful in the past in attracting foreign investors for Silangan for various reasons, including unfavorable mining conditions in the country.
Pangilinan said once the project starts generating cash-flow in 2.5 years or by 2025, the Silangan mine should be able to attract foreign investors.
He said Philex decided to develop the project on its own and in several phases to proceed with the Silangan mine job.
The company would need an initial capital requirement of $224 million under phase 1. Of the total, P3.15 billion ($62 million) would be funded through the planned stock rights offering.
Philex is also expected to inject between $50 million to $60 million in fresh capital directly to Silangan mine, while the balance of $130 million to $140 million will be financed via a loan syndication to be arranged by BDO Capital and Investments Corp.
Philex already invested nearly P18 billion in the past decade for the exploration and pre-development of Silangan mine. By the end of its 28-year mine, Philex would have spent $1.7 billion for the project.
Silangan mine is also expected to contribute P9.5 billion to local government units and P36.2 billion to the national government over a period of 28 years.
The mine will initially produce 2,000 tons of ore per day or about 700,000 tons a year. The will figure will gradually ramp up to 12,000 tons a year as Philex invests additional capital for the mining operations.
Silangan mine has an estimated 81 million tons of mineable reserves that contain around 993 million pounds of copper and 2.8 million ounces of gold.
Meanwhile, Pangilinan said Philex would likely report strong 2021 earnings on higher metal prices. The share price of Philex rose 1.35 percent Thursday to close at P5.27.