Philex Petroleum unit suspends coal mining ops

Posted at 01/09/2013 12:46 PM | Updated as of 01/09/2013 4:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A subsidiary of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Philex Petroleum Corp. is suspending its coal mining operations in Zamboanga Sibugay for up to six months. 

In light of falling coal prices, Brixton Energy and Mining Corporation (BEMC) said it had decided to conduct a detailed review of the operations and prospects of its coal mining project in Diplahan, Zamboanga Sibugay. The review is expected to take up to six months. 

The company admitted it had been "adversely affected" by the significant decline in coal prices. 

"Whilst this assessment is being undertaken, BEMC has determined that it would be prudent to suspend underground mining operations.  In the meantime, activities will be confined to maintenance and repair of the coal mine, and to processing and marketing of existing coal inventory," BEMC said. 

In recent months, there has been a steady drop in world coal prices, as healthy coal exports  from Colombia, South Africa and the US have led to oversupply in the market.

Reuters reported that API2 2014 coal futures contracts have been in a downward cycle since summer 2011 and have dropped almost 30% since then to around $100 per tonne.