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Philex Eyes Stalled OceanaGold Project

THE COUNTRY’S largest miner, Philex Mining Corp., is setting its sights on the $320-million Didipio gold and copper project in Nueva Vizcaya.

“We’re looking at other projects including Didipio,” Jose Ernesto C. Villaluna, Jr., Philex Mining president and chief operating officer, told reporters at the sidelines of the Mining Philippines 2010 Conference and Exhibition yesterday.

Australian firm OceanaGold Ltd. put the Didipio project on hold in December 2008 “pending improvement from credit markets.”

“We’re conducting studies to look at fatal flaws and possible opportunities,” Mr. Villaluna said.

Map shows the location of the Didipio mine’s prospects. — www.oceanagold.com

Mr. Villaluna noted that foreign companies have approached Philex Mining for investments abroad but the firm has decided to concentrate on projects in the Philippines.

OceanaGold, which holds a financial and technical assistance agreement or FTAA for the Didipio project, said on its Web site the mine covers a mountainous region between the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.

“Approximately 30 prospects are known within the FTAA which have had varying levels of exploration over past years,” the Web site said.

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