Philex to continue Padcal operations if gold prices remain stable

Philex to continue Padcal operations if gold prices remain stable

Philex to continue Padcal operations if gold prices remain stable

Workers haul ore at an underground rock-breaking site of the Padcal operation of Philex Mining Corp. — FILE PHOTO BY EV ESPIRITU

Pangilinan-led Philex Mining Corp. is keeping the operations of its Padcal mine in Benguet until 2027 if gold prices continue to show stronger figures, its top official said Tuesday.

In an interview with reporters, Eulalio Austin Jr., Philex president and CEO, said the fate of Padcal mine would depend on its bottom line.

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“But if [costs] continue to go up, but still could be offset by high metal prices, then tuloy pa rin ang laban (we will continue the fight),” he said on the sidelines of the company’ annual stockholders’ meeting in Taguig City.

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READ: Philex won’t cease Padcal operations until 2027

He said that the current metal prices—$3.50 for a pound of copper and $2,000 for a troy ounce of gold—remain ideal for the planned extension of the underground mine for three more years.

“We’re happy with that,” he said.

However, the company is almost just hitting breakeven due to high production costs. Production costs for copper is already at $3.40 per pound, while $1,800 for gold per troy ounce.

According to the World Bank’s Commodities Price Data, gold prices in June were averaging at $2,326 per troy ounce, while $4.37 per pound for copper.

Padcal mine, which started operations in 1958, was scheduled to cease operations at end-2024 after several extensions to its life. It has been producing copper concentrates, with gold and and silver as by-products.

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In 2022, Philex said extending the mine’s life was in “response to the global demand for green metals and the government’s call for mineral resource development to be a driver for national growth and economic recovery.”

Keeping it running would also ensure the employment of almost 2,000 workers, it said.

The company is also banking on the development of the Silangan mine project in Surigao del Norte. It completed the entire project financing worth $170 million in February.

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Philex is focused on large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of mineral resources.

TAGS: Padcal mine, Philex Mining Corp.

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