Philex may yet exhaust Padcal mine beyond 2024
Philex Mining Corp. is mulling over extending the lifespan of its Padcal mine in Benguet beyond 2024 in a bid to boost income stream.
“Studies are ongoing,” Eulalio Austin Jr., Philex Mining president and chief executive, said in a statement.
Austin said the decision would still be contingent on the remaining mineable reserve and the consequent cost of producing the metals, including sourcing of necessary permits. A favorable price for both copper and gold was also paramount, he said.
“If prices hold on to the levels where they are now, which we consider high, then there is a possibility of extension,” he added.
Padcal mine, which opened in 1958, is scheduled to cease operations by end-2024 after several extensions to its life.
Philex, meanwhile, is expected to begin developing the first phase of the Silangan copper-gold project in Surigao del Norte this year.
The Silangan project is targeted to start commercial operations by early 2025, providing the firm with a buffer in case Padcal ceases business in two years’ time.
“An overlap in Padcal and Silangan’s operation could further bolster Philex income stream,” the firm said.
Philex earlier said it would initially spend $224 million for the development of a starter mine that would produce around 2,000 tons of ore per day. The firm expects to spend $1.5 billion to operate and maintain the mining site over its 28-year existence.
Under an in-phase development plan, production would be gradually ramped up until it reaches 12,000 tons a day or 4 million tons a year.
Philex said it has secured all regulatory approvals for the mining project, including those from relevant local governments, indigenous peoples and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Silangan is expected to generate thousands of jobs, particularly in the Surigao del Norte towns of Placer, Tubod, Tagana-an and Sison, and contribute billions of pesos in taxes to both the local governments and the national government. INQ