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Philex eyes fund-raising for second phase of Silangan project

PHILEX Mining Corp. is eyeing further fundraising for the continued development of its Silangan mine project, its chairman said.

“Before we start commercial operations next year, we may consider starting phase two of the development, and who knows, we may do a follow-on in late 2025 or 2026,” Philex Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said on the sidelines of a stockholders’ meeting late Tuesday.

Mr. Pangilinan added that the company would focus on the first phase of the project before raising funds for the second phase.

“Once that is finished, then we will start with phase 2,” he said.

Phase one of Silangan covers the Boyongan deposit, which contains 81 million tons of mineable material. It is comprised of 0.67% copper and 1.13 grams of gold per ton, and it has a lifespan of 28 years.

The company said that once the Bayugo ore body is mined it could increase annual production to 6.5 million tons.

In February, the company said that it had completed its $170-million loan needed to begin operations of the company’s Silangan copper and gold mine in Surigao del Norte. It is expected to begin commercial operations by the first quarter of next year.

In 2021, the company placed the development cost at $224 million for an estimated 571 tons worth of mineral resources. The project will initially process 2,000 tons of ore per day until it reaches 12,000 tons, or four million tons annually, upon its completion.

The first phase of the Silangan mine is expected to start producing gold ore by December 2025 and copper ore during the first quarter of 2026.

Philex Mining is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.

Shares in Philex Mining closed at P2.65 apiece on Wednesday, down by 1.12%, or three centavos. — Adrian H. Halili

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