Benguet to secure funds for gold project | Inquirer Business

Benguet to secure funds for gold project

/ 11:32 PM October 04, 2011

Publicly listed mining company Benguet Corp. is set to secure financing for its Balatoc gold tailings project in Benguet province by the end of this month, according to a senior company official.

The country’s oldest miner may get P450 million to finance the project, which is expected to cost about P700 million.

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Benguet Corp. is “still validating best financing option” for the project to recover gold from mine wastes, Benguet Corp. CFO Renato A. Claravall told reporters.

“We’re looking at P450 million (in financing). The P250 million will be Benguet Corp.’s contribution,” Claravall said.

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Benguet Corp. has several financing options, including a bank loan, Claravall said.

One credit institution has approved a loan “in principle” at the committee level, he added.

According to Claravall, the company is bullish on gold as prices are expected to remain high over the next few years.

Gold prices are presently hovering around $1,600 per ounce, he said, which is why it makes sense to aggressively develop gold projects at this time.

Even accounting for the time lag to develop a project, gold mining companies may still enjoy good prices by the time they go into production, Claravall explained.

Balatoc Gold Resources Corp., a subsidiary of Benguet Corp., is set to put up the gold recovery facility by the first quarter of 2013.

It would be the first commercial gold tailings recovery project in the Philippines.

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The facility is expected to process 16.7 million metric tons of tailings, or mine waste, at a cost of $600 to $700 an ounce. About 180,000 ounces of gold may be produced in 10 years.

Claravall said in a previous interview that the output would be in the form of gold bars, unlike the gold buttons presently produced from Acupan gold mine.

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TAGS: Balatoc gold project, Benguet, Benguet corp., company, fund raising, Mining and quarrying, Philippines
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