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Business

Philex shipments jump 18.4% to P8.21 billion in 9 months

- Zinnia B. Dela Peña -

MANILA, Philippines - Philex Mining Corp., the country’s largest miner, registered an 18.4 percent growth in the value of ore shipped in the first nine months of the year due to rising metal prices and higher output.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Philex said the value of shipments jumped to P8.21 billion from only P6.93 billion a year earlier due to improving ore grades which resulted in higher gold and silver yields in August and September. 

Philex shipped a total of 45,150 dry metric tons (DMT) of copper concentrates from January to September this year compared to 50,155 DMT the previous year.

Gold content of the shipments was 85,566 ounces as against 97,740 ounces a year before while copper amounted to 24.79 million pounds from 27 million pounds.

Last month, Philex made two shipments with the first shipment having an estimated value of P1.04 billion consisting of P624 million from gold, P409 million from copper and P10 million from silver.

Philex president Jose Ernesto C. Villaluna Jr. said the shipment contained about 11,412 ounces of gold, 2.82 million pounds of copper and 11,676 ounces of silver from 5,015 DMT of concentrates.

The second shipment for the month had an estimated value of P1.12 billion. The concentrates weighed 5,058 DMT and contained about 12,351 ounces of gold, 2.76 million pounds of copper and 12,196 ounces of silver.

The shipment value was based on provisional metal prices consisting of P686 million from gold, P419 million from copper and P11 million from silver.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of Philex, said: “We are confident that the second half of the year will be boosted by higher metal prices and better-quality ore which we are already mining now.”

For the medium term, Philex is counting on the strong prospects of its Silangan project. The company is targeting to start the development phase of the mine by next year.

The Silangan copper-gold mine in Surigao del Sur is estimated to hold much higher resources than Philex’s Padcal mine, which has been in operation for half a century.

As part of the company’s long-term growth strategy, Villaluna said Philex is constantly looking at all investment opportunities and projects that it may be able to enter into.

Philex is in talks with Indophil Resources NL to possibly raise its stake in the Tampakan copper-and-gold project in southern Philippines. Indophil now holds a 34.5 percent stake in Tampakan after recently selling a three percent stake to Philex.

The Tampakan project, controlled and managed by Anglo-Swiss miner Xstrata Plc, would cost around $5 billion to develop. It has a total resource estimate of 2.4 billion metric tons, at a grade of 0.6 percent copper and 0.2 percent grams a ton of gold.

Philex is also looking at the possibility of taking a stake in Oceana Gold Ltd.’s Didipio copper-gold project in northern Philippines.

Oceana Gold suspended work in Didipio in mid-2007, weighed down by higher costs. From an initial estimate of $155 million, project costs surged to $320 million, prompting the company to seek a joint venture partner.

Didipio has reserves of around 20 million metric tons, at 1.7 grams of gold a ton and 0.65 percent copper.

AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER

COPPER

DIDIPIO

GOLD

INDOPHIL RESOURCES

JOSE ERNESTO C

MANUEL V

MILLION

OCEANA GOLD

PHILEX

TAMPAKAN

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