TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corporation is setting its sights on nickel mining in several towns of Zambales as part of its expansion program and in preparation to the projected end of life of its Padcal mine here.
Philex president and chief executive officer Engr. Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. said that the company was able to acquire a tenement area in Sta. Cruz and Candelaria towns in Zambales, but it was not actually developed in the past, thus, the need to work on its possible development into a nickel mine to be able to help in providing sustainable supply of nickel in the market.
He explained there are bright prospects for copper, nickel and cobalt because of the ongoing shift to the use of electric vehicles with a projected increase in the demand for these minerals used in the manufacturing of the electric vehicles.
The Philex official claimed that the company is on the process of working on its exploration permit for the proposed nickel mine site and that the local governments are receptive on the plan to develop the property into a productive nickel mine in the future.
Earlier, Philex projected that the end of life of its Padcal mine will be in 2024 but this was extended to 2027 because of the promising world metal prices, the reduction of the company’s operating cost, among other factors which play a key role in sustaining the mining operations in the various parts of the country.
“We are happy to know that our host local governments are receptive on our plan to develop our idle property into a productive mine. We are currently working on our exploration permit to be able to start developing the area and in preparation to its conversion into a nickel mine,” Austin stressed.
According to him, the company is hopeful that the results of the initial studies that will be conducted in the area will lead to the proposed development of its property into a nickel mine because the firm has the available manpower and experience to operate the said mine in the future.
Austin assured that Philex is working double time to look for available ore bodies within and around its Padcal mine which could be developed that will help in extending the company’s mine life but there are no positive developments yet that is why it remains that the projected end of the Padcal mine is in 2027.
Philex is the country’s largest gold and copper producer that had been in operation for over six decades and has contribute in the overall growth and development of the towns of Itogon and Tuba through its numerous corporate social responsibility projects among other implemented high impact development programs.
He stipulated that the company is doing its best to ensure there will be continuous employment of its present work force aside from ensuring that the development of its host and neighboring communities will be sustained once there will be possible indications of sufficient ore bodies that can be tapped and developed for the extension of its mine life.
However, Austin admitted that if the company will not be able to succeed in its existing endeavors and partnerships, then it has to strictly adhere to the projected end of life of the mine by 2027.