TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corporation will be employing the traditional underground method in its $224-million Silangan gold and copper project in Surigao del Norte to lessen the impact of its mining operation on the state of the environment in the area.
While welcoming the recent decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the processing of new mining permits and lift the ban on open pit mining, Philex president and chief executive officer Engr. Eulalio B. Austin pointed out that the company already decided to use the underground method to help in significantly reducing the impact of their future mining operations to the state of the environment in the area.
He claimed that Philex intends to start with the initial phase of operation of its Silangan project by early 2025 to coincide with the projected end of mine life of its Padcal mine which had been operational over the past 63 years.
The Philex official claimed that the company will be going to the stock market for stock rights offering to raise the initial $65 million capitalization before going to the banks for the balance so that it can meet its targeted operation.
Austin underscored that the open pit mining is not an option because of the pressing issues and concerns on the preservation and protection of the environment that is why the company opted for the traditional underground method to lessen the impact of its operation to the environment and the host and neighboring communities.
At present, Philex’s Padcal mine is producing some 24,000 tons of order per day and that the company plans to maintain the said production with the prevailing high metal prices on the world market.
According to him, the company’s Silangan mine is expected to initially operate with a daily production of some 4,000 tons in the first 2 years of operation before increasing it to 6,000 tons daily until it reaches a daily production of 12,000 tons of ore.
Philex is one of the country’s major producer of gold and copper over the past several decades prior to the extension of Padcal’s mine life for another 2 years.
Austin emphasized that the easing up of the government’s restrictions on the processing of new mining permits and the lifting of the ban on open pit mining will definitely help in increasing investments in the mining industry after it remained stagnant over the past 5 years since the enforcement of the moratorium on open pit mining and the processing of new mining permits.
Earlier, Philex projected the end of its Padcal mine life in December 2022 but this was extended following the sustained high metal prices in the world market coupled with the significant increase in demand for metals that compelled the company to re-adjust its estimated end of mine life to December 2024.
Philex officials expressed hope that the ongoing exploration activities within the vicinity of its tenement area will yield positive results in the coming months to ensure that the company can further extend the projected end of mine life of the Pacdal mine and maximize the use of its existing mine facilities to continue producing high quality metals that command high metal prices.