Philex Mining Corp. said Monday it signed an agreement to acquire a 90-year-old mining company to expand its existing Padcal mine in Itogon, Benguet.

Philex said in a stock exchange filing the term sheet agreement outlines the company’s intention to explore commercial, financial and technical avenues for possible shares acquisition in Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co. Inc.

It said it would conduct of due diligence and scout drilling activities on the property of MGMDCI covered by a mineral production sharing agreement in Itogon which is adjacent to the company’s Padcal mine.

MGMDCI has over 800 hectares of contract area under its MPSA. It has been exploring various mineral deposits including gold and copper for several decades.

Philex president Eulalio Austin Jr. said the proposed acquisition of MGMDCI is a part of the company’s business direction this year to broaden interest in ‘green metals’ through mergers and acquisitions.

“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 said.

Philex chairman Manuel Pangilinan said the acquisition 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.

He said that “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.”

Philex, one of the oldest and largest copper and gold producers in Southeast Asia, announced in December 2022 it would extend the operation of its underground mine in Padcal until the end of 2027, after it identified additional mineable reserves.

Padcal, where copper and gold have been extracted since 1958, is scheduled to cease operations by the end of 2024, after several extensions of its mine life.