Projects of two local mining companies are expected to prosper given the supportive stance of the government on the industry.

Local miners cited government pronouncements that it wants the revival of the mining sector to support the country’s economic rehabilitation.

Philex Mining Corp. is looking at other additional mining resources while developing the Silangan gold and copper mine in Surigao del Norte.

St. Augustine Gold and Copper Ltd. is updating a pre-feasibility study (PFS) on the Kingking copper-gold project in Compostela Valley which it said would now require $2 billion to develop.

Philex said it is eyeing a maiden venture on nickel ores in Zambales as well as copper-gold mines under the Macawili project in Benguet. It is also looking at the possible revival of Dizon mines also in Zambales which ceased operations when Mt. Pinatubo erupted.

Eulalio Austin Jr., Philex Mining president and chief executive officer, said at the Mining Philippines 2023 International Conference in Mandaluyong City yesterday, the company has started to conduct confirmatory drillings to check the remaining ore reserves in the area.

Austin said Philex Mining will pursue the Macawili project in case the mine life of Padcal cannot be extended beyond 2027.

Philex Mining recently secured the funding requirements for the development of a starter mine for Silangan which is targeted for commercial operations by early 2025.

Meanwhile, Michael Regino, St. Augustine chief operating officer, said the updated PFS, which will be ready by early of next year, will contain new assumptions based on current prices, revenues and cost.

At the time the PFS was done in 2013, assumptions on the price of gold was $1,250 per ounce (oz)and on copper $3 per pound (lb). Prices have gone up to $1,900 per oz and $3.80 per lb, respectively.

St. Augustine expects construction and development of Kingking mine prospect to take four years. Its mine life of 23 years is expected to yield 6.7 billion lbs of copper and 10.3 million oz of gold.- Jed Macapagal