Philex expects ‘another good year’ on positive metal price outlook

PHILEX Mining Corp. is optimistic about its performance for the rest of the year amid the start of the development of its Silangan copper-gold project, according to its top officials.

“The net income year 2022 will be another good year for Philex as we start the development of the Silangan project,” Chief Finance Officer Romeo B. Bachoco said during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

“We are optimistic that 2022 will be another good year for Philex and the mining industry in general. The global outlook for metal prices continues to be positive,” he added.

The Silangan copper-gold project in Surigao del Norte is expected to commence commercial operations by 2025. It will require an initial $244 million to develop.

“The company’s main focus right now is Silangan. Philex has started the execution plan of the project to be funded by proceeds from the stock rights offering, debt syndication and additional cash infusion from internal funds,” President and Chief Executive Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. said.

The project comprises the Boyongan and Bayugo ore deposits. Phase 1 or the Boyongan deposit has a 28-year projected mine life.

“We are currently completing front-end engineering work. As of today, we have started the earth-moving works necessary for the commencement of underground tunneling work,” Mr. Bachoco said.

Meanwhile, Phase 2 or the Bayugo deposit has undergone a definitive feasibility study. It will launch in a later year after the commercial operations of the first phase.

“At the right economic conditions, the potential to increase the reserve of Bayugo is there. Our Padcal mine was able to grow from a starter mine to one of the biggest mines,” Mr. Bachoco said.

Mr. Austin said that the Philippines is one of the most endowed countries when it comes to mineral resources.

“We are the fifth most mineral-rich country in the world when it comes to gold, copper, nickel, and chromite. We have an estimated $840 billion in untapped mineral wealth,” he said.

“The new government also regarded the mining industry as one of the major contributors to accelerate economic recovery. With government policies supported by the mining industry, we are confident investor interest for the Silangan project will be given a boost,” Mr. Bachoco added.

In the second quarter, Philex’s net income increased by 18.2% to P708.85 million from P599.53 million in 2021. Revenues climbed by 4.6% to P2.49 billion from P2.38 billion the year before.

Philex 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 an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.

Philex shares on Tuesday rose by 0.63% or P0.02 to close at P3.20 per share. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson