1With Philex Mining saying it is no longer interested in bidding for Indophil Resources, the path is now clear for San Miguel Corporation to acquire up to 100% of the Australian junior miner.
San Miguel has confirmed that it is in talks with Indophil and is now undertaking due diligence. Indophil controls a 33% of the $5.2 billion Tampakan Copper-Gold project in Mindanao.
Philex, the Philippines’ largest mining company, has a 3% stake in Indophil while San Miguel purchased a 10.1% stake in October for $40 million.
Philex chairman Manuel Pangilinan last week stated that Philex is no longer pursuing Indophil but may consider a property owned by MRC Allied that is beside Tampakan “if the property is good”.
San Miguel president Ramon Ang says, “If everything turns out well, we’ll have to do a tender offer to buy 100% of Indophil.”
Indophil owns 37.5% of Sagittarius Mines, the Philippines’ company working on the Tampakan project in South Cotabato. Sagittarius is controlled by London-based mining giant Xstrata Plc.
Ramon Ang says the due diligence audit is expected to be complete by the end of January, after which San Miguel will make a decision on whether to increase its stake in the Australian firm.
He says that if and when San Miguel was able to buy 100% of Indophil, the next step would be to talk to Xstrata about the Tampakan project.
He estimated that Sagittarius would have to provide equity equivalent to a third of the project cost of Tampakan while the rest could be covered by borrowings.
The Tampakan mine is estimated to contain 13.5 million tonnes of copper and 15.8 million ounces of gold, at a grade of 0.6% copper and 0.2 grams/tonne gold.

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