PHILEX Mining Corp has received encouraging results from the Bumolo porphyry copper-gold deposit, which is adjacent to its Padcal mine in the northern province of Benguet. The maiden resource estimate is 21.7 million tonnes at a grade of 0.2% copper and 0.3 grams/tonne (g/t) gold and has potential to add to the Padcal mine life beyond 2022.
The estimate is based on drilling data and initial geological information interpreted by Philex geologists as of February. The Bumolo porphyry copper-gold deposit is 1.5km to the east of the Padcal mine, which has been in active operation for 58 years.
Philex CEO and president Eulalio B Austin said in a company statement, “The maiden inferred resource estimate for the Bumolo project confirms the potential we have been progressing with over the past year. This resource result exceeds our expectations and we further look forward to the next two years of exploration around the Padcal mine.
“The maiden inferred mineral resource represents the first phase of the ongoing resource definition drilling program to advance the project and provide additional ore to Padcal Mine.”
Meantime, Philex has pushed back mining of one of the prospective reserves at Padcal. The start of mining at the 800-600 metre level has been moved to 2018 instead of 2017 as earlier scheduled.
Eulalio Austin says the decision has been made in order to lessen the capital expenditures for 2016. “We want to maximize our operation, which is being undertaken in three different levels.”
Philex is mining at 908 ML with 61.2 million tonnes of ore at 0.22% copper grade and 0.349 g/t gold; at 798 ML with 46.2 million tonnes at 0.20% copper and 0.357 g/t gold; and at 782 ML with 40 million tonnes at 0.22% copper and 0.368 g/t gold.
The 908 ML should have been mined out at the end of 2015, however the broken reserves of some collapsed draw points at the level will now be mined at 890 ML providing a remaining reserve of 700,000 tonnes, Philex Mining said.
The mineral reserves at 800-600 ML are expected to extend Padcal’s mine life by two more years to 2022, with Bumolo likely to extend this even further.
Philex is one of three key Philippine subsidiaries of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co Ltd with the others being Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT).