Philex Mining Co. plans to borrow more funds to finance the $224-million initial capital needed to develop the Silangan copper and gold project in Surigao de Norte province.
Philex chief finance officer Romeo Bachoco said in a recent investors’ briefing organized by the Philippine Stock Exchange the company would launch this month a debt syndication program.
Bachoco said Philex would add the funds from the debt syndication program to the P2.65-billion proceeds raised from the recent stock rights’ offering to develop the project.
Philex would also infuse fresh capital from its cash reserves for the Silangan mine project, which is set to start commercial operations by 2025.
The mining firm is open to entering into joint venture partnership as the development of the entire Silangan project will require $967 million in total capital for the estimated 28-year life of the mine.
The Silangan copper-gold project will initially process 2,000 tons of ore a day until it reaches 12,000 tons a day or four million tons annually upon completion.
Silangan has estimated mineral resources of 571 million tons, with 0.52 percent copper and 0.64 percent gold.
Philex president Eulalio Austin Jr. said during the same forum said the company started conducting studies for the possible extension of Padcal mine in Benguet province.
Eulalio said Philex was looking to extend the mine life of Padcal either by maximizing existing resources or exploring the vicinity of mine for additional resources.
“There is a significant possibility of another extension. However we can only ascertain this once we complete the studies which we are targeting to finish within the year,” Eulalio said.
An extension of Padcal’s mine life also requires approval from the regulators. Padcal mine in Benguet has been in operations since 1958 and was scheduled to cease operations in 2024.