Philex Mining is considering buying into the Didipio Gold Project of Australian company OceanaGold and is conducting due diligence.

Philex company president and chief operations officer Ernesto Villaluna says, "We have to study the reserve, how to increase it, as well as [the project's] flaws."

The $320 million Didipio project in Nueva Vizcaya remains one of the government’s priority projects, which are expected to attract $13 billion worth of mining investments by 2013.

The Philippines largest mining company has also recently announced that it would like to tap into the $5.2 billion Tampakan copper-gold project of Sagitarrius Mines in southern Mindanao.

Philex has its eyes on the 34.5% share held by Australian company Indophil Resources in the venture. Indophil originally had a 37.5% share, with the 3% recently acquired by Philex.

Ernesto Villaluna says, "It is a world-class project. It will give us exposure to [use of] big equipment and how it is to be a part of really big projects."

The Tampakan project is expected to employ 9000 workers in its construction phase and more than 2000 when its operations start in 2016.

The project has an estimated deposit of 13.5 million tonnes of copper and 15.8 million ounces of gold, using a 0.3% copper cut-off grade at 0.6% copper and 0.2 grams/tonne of gold. The mineral resource also contains estimated average grades of molybdenum at 70ppm.

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