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Philex unit secures $100-M loan

PHILEX MINING Corp. said on Tuesday that its subsidiary Silangan Mindanao Mining Co., Inc. had signed a $100-million debt facility for its mining project in Surigao del Norte.

In a regulatory filing, Philex Chief Executive Officer Eulalio B. Austin said the loan, signed on Nov. 20, would fund the ongoing development of the Silangan copper-gold mine.

The company earlier conducted a stock rights offering that raised P2.6 billion for its Silangan mine sites.

Philex Senior Vice-president and Chief Financial Officer Romeo B. Bachoco said the proceeds of the rights offering were used to start the development of the project’s first phase.

Mr. Bachoco added that the first phase, which covers the Boyongan ore deposit, has an estimated mine life of 28 years based on its declared mineable reserves of 81 million tons at 0.67% copper and 1.13 grams per ton of gold.

The site contains an estimated recoverable copper of 993 million pounds and 2.8 million ounces of gold.

Philex added that development continues with ongoing underground tunneling at 35% or 210 meters to the ore body.

“Clearing works and access road to the tailings storage facility (TSF) area are nearing completion with the issuance of the permit by the Municipality of Sison, Surigao del Norte for the construction of the TSF,” it said.

The company added it is in the final stages of evaluating proposals and is set to award the contract for the facility and the processing plant.

In 2021, the company placed development cost at $224 million for an estimated 571 tons worth of mineral resources.

The Silangan project is set to initially process 2,000 tons of ore per day until this reaches 12,000 tons or four million tons annually upon its completion.

The lenders are Union Bank of the Philippines, Inc., Security Bank Corp. and Bank of the Philippine Islands, with BDO Capital and Investment Corp. as lead arranger.

For the third quarter, Philex’s attributable net income declined to P139.84 million, 41.7% lower than P239.67 million in the same period last year.

Its revenues dropped by 11.8% to P1.8 billion from P2.04 billion the prior year.

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

On Tuesday, Philex shares rose by 1.06% or three centavos to P2.86 apiece. — Adrian H. Halili


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