PHILEX Mining Corp. announced last Tuesday of having secured a P100-million syndicated debt facility for Silangan Mindanao Mining Co. Inc., which Philex Mining refers to as the “Silangan project.”
In its disclosure, an omnibus loan and security agreement were signed between Philex Mining executives and the lenders led by Union Bank of the Philippines, Security Bank Corp. and Bank of the Philippine Islands. BDO Capital and Investment Corp. was named as lead arranger.
The shares of Philex Mining closed on Tuesday at P2.86 apiece.
Philex Mining President and CEO Eulalio B. Austin Jr. considers the debt facility as “another positive milestone to support the ongoing development” of the Silangan project.
“All these would not have been made possible, without the favorable climate for mining that the (current) administration. had created,” Austin added.
According to Philex Mining’s website (https://www.philexmining.com.ph/silangan/), the Silangan Project, located in Surigao del Norte, consists of two deposits: Boyongan and Bayugo. The copper-gold porphyry deposits are located in the Surigao Mineral District at the north-eastern tip of Mindanao Island in the Philippines, approximately 750 kilometers southeast of Manila. The deposits, occurring in one intrusive complex, are the two major assets of the Silangan project.
“Our stock rights offer last year raised net proceeds of P2.6 billion,” Philex Senior Vice President and CFO Romeo B. Bachoco said.
According to Bachoco, Philex Mining used the proceeds from the stock rights offer to commence the development of Phase 1 of the Silangan project. This phase covers the Boyongan ore deposit, he added.
It “has an estimated mine life of 28 years based our declared mineable reserves of 81 million tonnes at 0.67 percent copper and 1.13 grams/tonne gold, containing an estimated recoverable copper of 993 million pounds and 2.8 million ounces of gold,” Bachoco said.
According to Philex Mining, development works continue in the Silangan project with the ongoing underground tunneling works, passing the 210 meters mark or about 35 percent of the distance towards 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, the company added.
Philex Mining said its management is in the final stages of evaluating the proposals and is set to award the contract for the TSF as well as for the process plant under an EPCM (engineering, procurement and construction management) arrangement, it said.
Touted as one of the top three mining projects in the country, the Silangan copper and gold project is targeted to commence commercial operations by first quarter of 2025.