Manny V. Pangilinan-led Philex Mining Corporation announced its plans for a $224-million Silangan copper and gold project in Surigao del Norte in the coming year.
The project is expected to produce around 571 million tons in mineral resources. Philex will be leading the venture, together with subsidiary Silangan Mindanao Mining Co. Inc. (SMMCI). Initially, Silangan will process 2,000 tons of ore daily, until it reaches 12,000 tons daily or four million tons annually upon completion.
The mine is composed of two ore deposits that are 0.52% copper and 0.64% gold. These are twice as high as the current grades of the firm’s Padcal mine in Benguet, said Philex President and CEO Eulalio Austin.
The first phase includes the Boyongan deposit, which has 81 million tons of ore containing 0.67% copper and 1.12 grams of gold per ton. Boyongan is seen to produce 2.8 million ounces of gold and 993 million pounds of copper during its mine life.
The first phase will take two and a half years to develop beginning second quarter of 2022 and will be ready for commercial use by late 2024 or early 2025.
SMMCI COO Michael Toledo said the project is an opportunity for the mining industry to play a pivotal role, as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Toledo, who also sits as Chairman of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, also envisions Silangan to be major exporter of metallic minerals, as it could potentially generate much needed foreign exchange receipts that would augment and add to the country’s foreign currency reserves.
Silangan’s disturbed area covers 24.91 hectares. Philex looks to offset this with plans to reforest an area of 185.24 hectares.
Image from Philex Mining website.