MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Industry's Exploration Investments Yet To Bear Fruit - Philex Cautious About Claims Of Mining Boom

Published by MAC on 2007-06-27
Source: Manila Times

Industry’s exploration investments yet to bear fruit - Philex cautious about claims of mining boom

By Likha C. Cuevas-Miel, Reporter, Manila Times -

27th June 2007

PHILEX Mining Corp. doused cold water over the triumphalism of peers in the local mining sector, saying the industry has yet to turn in solid gains.

On the sidelines of the listed company’s stockholders’ meeting, Walter W. Brown, Philex chairman, said news of big investments in the sector should be “taken with a grain of salt” since most of the funds already in the country are merely for exploration.

“[There’ is so much hype in the market about the exploration,” he said, adding a lot of impediments remain before exploration activities could bear fruit. These factors include bureaucratic red tape and the delays in feasibility studies preparatory to mining activity.

Brown echoed the sentiments made earlier by Michael Clancy, Philippine Business Leaders Forum chairman, who cautioned people against rejoicing this early since the “big money” has yet to come into the country.

Jose Ernesto C. Villaluna, Philex president, said that although the company has received a number of offers for possible joint venture projects, it has reconsidered these proposals.

At present, Philex is still capable of funding its projects in the pipeline and can easily tap the equity or debt markets for fresh capital, he said. Possible joint venture partners therefore should be bigger than Philex to merit the company’s interest.

Philex has a joint venture with Anglo American Exploration (Philippines) B.V. in the Boyongan project in Surigao. Anglo American shelled out the funds for the exploration and feasibility studies amounting to $2.2 million.

The Philippine company also has a venture with FEC Resources in the Lanscogon project.

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