Philex Mining Explores Nickel Mining in Zambales Amid Global Shift to Clean Energy

Philex Mining Explores Nickel Mining in Zambales Amid Global Shift to Clean Energy

Philex Mining Corp., led by Manuel V. Pangilinan, has unveiled plans to seek partners as it enters the nickel mining sector in Zambales, aligning with the global transition toward clean energy.

During the Mining Philippines conference, Philex President and CEO Eulalio Austin revealed the company’s interest in the nickel industry, in addition to its ongoing development of copper and gold mining sites.

“We are also looking into the nickel space considering that the transition to this green energy is a global issue right now and…because we have a nickel property in Zambales that was not put into operations for so long and we are trying to review that now,” he stated.

The Zambales property, a greenfield nickel development, operates under a financial or technical assistance agreement (FTAA) initiated during the Ramos administration.

Austin emphasized that the property is currently at the application stage, and they have been working on perfecting the exploration permit for this old FTAA.
This marks Philex Mining’s first foray into the nickel sector, a move that will require the company to collaborate with technical partners due to its limited expertise in this domain.

At the same event, Philex Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan emphasized the vital role of mining in facilitating the transition to clean and renewable energy. He highlighted the importance of mining in the production of electric vehicles (EVs), batteries, solar panels, wind farms, and wind turbines, all of which require various metals and minerals.

Pangilinan argued that sustainability is closely linked to green technology, and as a result, reliance on mining will persist.

Philex Mining’s exploration of the Zambales property is in addition to its existing mining operations at Padcal, the development of the Silangan copper-gold mine in Surigao del Norte, and the potential development of the Macawiwili gold mining project in Itogon, Benguet.

The Padcal mine’s lifespan was extended until 2027 after confirming additional mineable reserves of copper and gold through drilling.

Philex also signed a term sheet with Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co. Inc. to explore the joint development of the latter’s gold mining project in an 800-hectare area covered by its mineral production sharing agreement.

For the Silangan project, Philex has allocated an initial investment of $224 million for its first phase of development, set to commence operations in 2025. This phase will focus on the Boyongan deposit, with a projected mine life of 28 years and a two-and-a-half-year development timeline. The operation will gradually increase its ore production to 12,000 tons per day, equivalent to four million tons annually, by the 12th year of operation.

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