Pangilinan-led Philex Mining Corp. on Monday said it aims to expand its gold mine operations as it signified an interest to acquire shares of the Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co. Inc. (MGMDCI).

In a disclosure to the local bourse, Philex said it recently signed a term sheet with MGMDCI that outlined the parties’ “clear” intentions “to explore commercial financial and technical” avenues in preparation for possible shares acquisition by Philex.

Philex said it will conduct due diligence and scout drilling activities on the property of MGMDCI covered by its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) in Itogon, Benguet.

The mine site of MGMDCI, a 90-year-old company, covers about 800 hectares of contract area under its MPSA and is also adjacent to Philex’s existing Padcal mine.

“Our interest to pursue investments in the Macawiwili property is part of our business direction for this year to broaden interest in ‘green metals’ through mergers and acquisitions,” Philex President and CEO Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. said.

“We need to hit the ground with this at the soonest possible time considering that this property is adjacent to our Padcal mine and would go a long way in fulfilling company plans for expansion and extension of the life-of-mine of Padcal,” Austin added.

Philex Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the planned acquisition of MGMDCI’s mine is a “good addition or extension to the Padcal mine.”

“I hope that this is the start of something good and that it would ride the wave of higher metal prices in gold and copper,” Pangilinan said.

“Any addition, expansion, or extension to the Padcal Mine would greatly benefit not just our employees and their families, but also our host and neighboring communities, and our nation as a whole.”