Philex Mining Corp, one of the Philippines’ biggest miners, said on Thursday it had found additional ore reserves at its Padcal copper-gold project that will extend the mine’s life by two more years to 2022.
Philex, which exports most of its Padcal copper concentrate to Japan for smelting by Pan Pacific Copper Co Ltd, part of JX Holdings Inc and partly owned by Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co Ltd, said the extra reserves should enhance the company’s value.
The additional ore reserves found at Padcal in northern Philippines, estimated at 20 million tonnes, provide the company with more flexibility before the Silangan project comes onstream, Philex said in a statement.
The $1.2 billion Silangan copper-gold project in Surigao del Norte province in the southern Philippines represents Philex’s biggest prospective revenue driver when its Padcal mine closes after operating for several decades.
Philex has been cleared by the government to proceed with the development of Silangan, which will initially have a 25-year mine life, paving the way for production to potentially begin in 2018, four years before Padcal closes.
Philex, owned by Hong Kong-listed conglomerate First Pacific Co Ltd, suffered a 21 percent drop in nine-month profit due to depressed metal prices.