PHILEX Mining Corp. said Tuesday that a wholly owned subsidiary had secured a $100-million syndicated debt facility from local banks to support its ongoing development project.

The mining firm said that Silangan Mindanao Mining Co. had signed an omnibus loan and security agreement with Union Bank of the Philippines, Security Bank Corp. and Bank of the Philippine Islands, along with BDO Capital and Investment Corp. as lead arranger.

Philex President and Chief Executive Officer Eulalio Austin Jr. said the debt facility would support Silangan’s copper and gold project, which is targeted to start commercial operations by the first quarter of 2025.

Phase 1 of the Silangan project commenced development using proceeds from the company’s stock rights offer in 2022, Philex Senior Vice President and Chief Finance Officer Romeo Bachoco said.

Bachoco noted that phase 1 had an estimated mine life of 28 years and covered the Boyongan ore deposit.

“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 toward the ore body,” Philex said in a disclosure.

For the first nine months of the year, Philex reported a core net income of P864 million, 44 percent lower than the previous year’s P1.543 billion, due to lower gold and copper output.

For the third quarter alone, the mining firm posted a core net income of P163 million, also lower than the P210 million recorded a year earlier.

Third-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) shrank to P337 million from P611 million, leading to a decline in nine-month Ebitda to P1.525 billion from P2.964 billion in 2022.

On Tuesday, Philex Mining shares closed up 3 centavos, or 1.06 percent, at P2.86 each amid a 0.41-percent rise in the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index. – Brix Lelis