Philex shelves plans for mining acquisitions

Posted at 08/09/12 6:13 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Philex Mining Corp., the country's largest gold and copper producer, is shelving plans to acquire new mines in the Philippines and abroad, as a it struggles to resolve the situation at its mine in Benguet province.

"For the moment it is best to delay (acquiring new mines) until we really have opportunity to look at Padcal situation. Only when we know how long and how much (it will require to rehabilitate Padcal) then that is time that Philex will be looking at new mining opportunities," Philex Mining chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

Earlier, Pangilanan said Philex was mulling the possibility of acquiring a mining firm.

The company stopped operations at the Padcal mine on August 1 after water and sediment were accidentally discharged from an underground tunnel. Operations will remain indefinitely suspended, pending an investigation of the tailings pond breach.

Philex said the continued suspension of the mine operations is expected to result in losses of P220 million a month.

As a result of the Padcal mine closure, Pangilinan said the company will not be able to meet its projected P4 billion core income target for this year.

Pangilinan said the government has not set conditions for the resumption of the mine's operations, but  Philex is hammering out a restoration plan.

Philex allocated P6.5 billion for mining exploration projects and that too will be cut or won't be entirely used up following the mining incident.  - With Lois Calderon, ANC