Philex Mining says it is on schedule to produce first ore from the Silangan Copper-Gold project in 2016. The company is pushing ahead with the project’s development, despite senior management’s concerns about a potential moratorium on mining operations in the Philippines.

“There are various calls for a moratorium by anti-mining groups, but so far there’s been no inclination by the government to accede to that request,” says Philex board member Marilyn A Victorio-Aquino. “You can’t stop anti-mining protesters protesting, but the government has so far been very rational and it’s aware of the need for stability.”

The mine is expected to help meet growing Asian demand for copper once it commences operations.

Silangan has an estimated 4.9 billion pounds of copper and 9 million troy ounces of gold.

The Silangan Project comprises the Boyongan and Bayugo deposits in the province of Surigao del Norte. Exploration by Philex at the project in early 2010 focused on the definition and infill drilling at the Bayugo deposit. Mineralization thickness was confirmed to 500 metres in length at East Bayugo and 300 meters at West Bayugo.

Drilling at the Exotic Zone, which includes the northeast Boyongan, Buhangin and Mt Torre prospects, defined the ore body which is dominated by enriched oxide-sulphide and hypogene sulphide zones. Philex completed 142 holes over 81,820 metres. Advanced exploration activities are being undertaken at Boyongan which the company plans to develop first.

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