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Agriculture and Mining

Philex asks govt to lift suspension order on Padcal ops

June 26, 2013 8:24pm
Philex Mining Corp. has asked the government to permanently lift the suspension order it issued on the firm's mining operations in Padcal, Benguet, saying all the necessary measures to rehabilitate its copper gold mine and address environmental concerns are already in place.

At the sidelines of the company's annual stockholders meeting Wednesday, Philex chairman Manuel V. Panglinan said the firm filed last Friday a request to allow it to operate even after the lapse of the government-issued temporary permit.

The temporary permit allows Philex to implement its mine rehabilitation plan for four months, or until July 7.

Philex was slapped with a suspension order after a tailings pond spilled about 21 metric tons of mines wastes, affecting some parts of a river in northern Philippines. The company voluntarily suspended operations on August 1, 2012.

The mining firm, controlled by the Hong Kong's First Pacific Co. Ltd., has already paid the government around P1 billion as penalty for the waste spill.

Pangilinan said the company is on track for completion of the mine's rehabilitation and should be allowed to continue its operations in Benguet.

He said the closure of the mine would put a dent on Philex's financial performance.

"I can definitely say we'll make profit in the first half but for the second quarter, it would all depend on the government's response to our request for the permanent lifting of the suspension order," Pangilinan said.

In the first quarter, Philex reported a net income of P403 million, reflecting less than a month of operation of its Padcal mine. The amount was significantly lower than the  P1.27 billion recorded in the same period last year due to the suspension.  

Consolidated core net income, meanwhile, reached P132 million while revenues amounted to P889 million. — KBK, GMA News
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