PHILEX Mining Corp believes the mine life of the Padcal Gold Project in Benguet Province may be extended beyond 2020. This is as a result of additional resources being identified in the underground operation.

The company says an additional 110.9 million tonnes of estimated mineral resources have been identified from the 800-600 metre levels in the Padcal mine.

“The measured and indicated resources in this area are expected to augment the mineable inventory of the company and may likely extend the mine’s life beyond 2020,” says Philex president Eulalio B Austin, Jr.

“We look forward to the next two years of exploration within the vicinity of the Padcal mine to further identify additional resources and increase the company’s current mineral inventory.”

Philex is currently operating in the 908-782 metre levels and the incremental resources are on top of the resources the company has previously declared for the Padcal operations.

The Padcal mine has helped Philex more than double net income in 2014, largely due to the higher number of operating days in northern Philippines and cost management measures amid low metal and ore prices. Net income rose 125.3% to P703 million from P312 million in 2013.

The Padcal mine operated for a full year in 2014 compared with about 10 months in 2013, delivering 23% more in tonnage terms. However, lower metal grades resulted in moderate improvements in metal output, Philex noted in its annual report, saying this translated to a mere 4% in additional revenues to P10.898 billion year-on-year.

Gold output increased by 5% to 105,008 ounces, yielding P5.889 billion in revenues that reflect a 2% drop in gold prices to $1297 from $1270 per ounce.

Copper production improved by 9% to 35,391,154 pounds, contributing P4.615 billion in revenues, despite the 9% drop in copper prices at $2.98 per pound from $3.27. Revenues from silver, coal, petroleum and others, which comprised the remainder of revenues, rose 31% to P394 million from P300 million due mainly to increased production from the Galoc oil field’s Phase II project.

Meanwhile, Philex hopes to accelerate development of the Silangan Gold-Copper Project in Surigao del Norte, Mindanao.

Progress is continuing as planned, with a definitive feasibility study expected to be finalized by the end of the year.

Silangan has estimated resources of 9 million ounces of gold and 5 billion pounds of copper and is scheduled to open in 2019.

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