Philex Mining Corp. said Tuesday a unit signed a $100-million syndicated debt facility to support the development of Silangan gold and copper mining project in Surigao del Norte province.

Philex said in a disclosure to the stock exchange its wholly-owned subsidiary Silangan Mindanao Mining Co. Inc. signed the loan facility with Union Bank of the Philippines, Security Bank Corp. and Bank of the Philippine Islands.

BDO Capital and Investment Corp. acted as the lead arranger for the deal.

Philex president and chief executive Eulalio Austin Jr. said the debt facility is another positive milestone to support the ongoing development of the $1.2-billion Silangan project.

The project involves the development of a starter mine beginning this year which is expected to start commercial operation by early 2025.

Phase 1 of the project would require about P11.2 billion in investment. The mine will initially produce 2,000 tons of ore a day or about 700,000 tons a year.  This will gradually ramp up to 12,000 tons a year.

Silangan mine is expected to produce an annual average of 35 million pounds of copper and 100,000 ounces of gold throughout its 28-year mine life, higher than the output of Padcal mine, one of the largest gold and copper producing mines at present.

Padcal in Benguet province has been in production since 1958 and its mine operation was extended as the company awaits the Silangan project.

Development works continue in the Silangan project with the ongoing underground tunneling works passing the 210-meter mark or about 35 percent of the distance towards the ore body.

Philex raised P2.6 billion from a stock rights offering in 2022 which would also be used to fund the development of the Silangan project. – Jenniffer B. Austria