June 28, 2017 at 07:44 pm
Anna Leah E. Gonzales
Philex Mining Corp. is upbeat on the prospect of the Bumolo porphyry copper-gold deposit near Padcal mine in Benguet province, saying it could extend the life of Padcal beyond 2022.
“The Bumolo project drilling was completed and could extend Padcal life by two more years. It is still subject for further study. If ever proven mineable, it could extend (mine life) from 2022 to 2024,” Philex president Eulalio Austin Jr. said during the sidelines of the annual stockholders’ meeting in Marco Polo Hotel, Ortigas, Pasig.
Philex earlier disclosed that the maiden inferred mineral resources in Bumolo were estimated to be 21.7 million tons at 0.2 percent copper and 0.3 grams per ton gold.
The Bumolo porphyry copper-gold deposit is located in the Baguio mineral district and is only 1.5 kilometers east of the Sto. Tomas II deposit of the Padcal mine of Philex.
The Bumolo deposit lies within the mineral production sharing agreement of Philex.
Philex said the inferred mineral resources represented the first phase of the on-going resource definition drilling program to advance the project and provide additional ore to Padcal mine.
“To convert a resource to a mineable reserve, you have to input the price of metal and cost of doing it,” said Austin.
He said aside from Bumolo, Philex was also looking at four other areas for possible additional reserves.
The company’s Padcal mine has been in active operation for the past 58 years and produced over 378 million tons of ore.
Aside from Padcal, the company is also developing the Silangan mine, which is expected to start commercial operations by 2020 “pending government approvals.”
“We have completed the feasibility study and the conclusion is quite positive so we are expanding some parts of the feasibility to make it a more comprehensive study. In the meantime, we have to complete all of the requirements and approvals from government,” said Philex chairman Manuel Pangilinan.
“Specially since its a two-stage mining development—the first stage is an open pit situation and the second stage is underground. From the numbers that we’ve seen, it has significant reserves of ore and high grade...,” added Pangilinan.