Silangan Mindanao Mining Corp. (SMMCI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Philex Mining Corp., has pushed back mining operations in one of its prospective mineral reserves in Surigao del Norte. Commercial operation is now expected to start om 2020.
Philex had earlier said it was looking at 2018 or early 2019 for initial ore production to commence at Silangan—the company’s next big prospective mine—and will replace the Padcal mine which is expected to expire in December 2022.
However, Philex chairman of Manuel V. Pangilinan said in an interview on the sidelines of PLDT’s financial results briefing on Wednesday: “We are currently completing requirements for the feasibility study on Silangan.”
The estimated cost of developing the Silangan copper-gold mine, Pangilinan said, was reduced to $900 million.
The Silangan project in Surigao del Norte, in the northern Mindanao, combines the development of Boyongan and Bayugo gold, copper, and silver deposits.
In March 2016, Philex president and chief executive officer, Eulalio Austin, Jr., had said that the start of mining at the 600-800 meter levels of Padcal has been moved to 2018 instead of 2017.
Austin, however, clarified that there was no delay in mining operations, saying the decision was aimed at lessening the capital expenditures for 2016 while waiting for the final exploration results of the Bumolo Project.
“… We just want to maximize our operations, which is being undertaken in three different levels,” the mining executive said.
The mineral reserves at the 600-800 meter levels are expected to extend Padcal’s mine life by two more years from 2020 to 2022, while the Bumolo project is currently under study.