Jun 162013

MANILA, Philippines – Listed Philex Mining Corp. is expected to finish the rehabilitation of its Padcal mine in Benguet next month, paving the way for the sale of additional shares to finance projects in the facility.

“(Rehabilitation) has proceeded well. Actually, we’re already at the tail-end of the process,” said Philex chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

“We are now applying for the lifting of the (mining) suspension and that is pending,” he added.

Operations of the Padcal mine were suspended in August after its tailings pond collapsed.

Late in February, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau allowed Philex to reopen a portion of the Padcal gold and copper mine to conduct remediation measures for tailings facility storage number. 3.

The company has also paid P1.034 billion in penalty to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the spill that affected Balog Creek and Agno River.

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“The major work has been the construction of the spillway, which should be finished by the end of this month,” Pangilinan told reporters.

Philex, the country’s largest miner, has substantially filled up the sinkhole that caused the operations to halt almost a year ago, he pointed out.

Moving forward, Philex is planning to sell more than P12 billion worth of shares to finance other projects, including the construction of a new tailings pond in Benguet.

Proceeds will also be used to fund an exploration program of the Silangan and Kalayaan mining projects in Surigao del Norte. The former is expected to begin commercial operations by 2017.

The equity offering, Pangilinan said, will depend on the government allowing Philex to proceed with normal operations.

In April, shareholders approved the P12.3-billion stock rights offering that will support the repayment of loans from First Pacific Group.

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