Manila Mining resumes exploration drilling in Placer, Surigao del Norte

Listed firm Manila Mining Corporation (MMC), an affiliate of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company, will resume exploration drilling at its mining tenements in Placer, Surigao del Norte, a move that will be funded by planned stock rights offering that targets to raise P519 million.

This, according to the company, was after a successful drilling activity that was conducted in the area from 2014 to 2016.

At the recently concluded annual meeting of MMC stockholders, the company’s president, Bryan U. Yap, reported that following the discovery of Ntina Deeps, a gold-rich porphyry copper resource immediately below the Ntina pit (site of mining operations until 2001), along with other prospective porphyry copper-gold deposits such as Ophelia, Suyoc, Nene, and Mapaso, the Company will embark on a two-to-three-year exploration program to increase its gold and copper resources.

Such announcement came as the stockholders of MMC approved on August 17, 2021 the increase in the company’s authorized capital stock to P4.6 billion.

The increase will be supported by a 1:5 stock rights offering, which was approved by the Board of Directors on the same day. The offering will raise P519 million to fund the aforementioned exploration program and settlement of liabilities, as well as provide working capital for the next two to three years.

Such an exploration program was devised by MMC’s Senior Exploration Consultant, Douglas Kirwin, who is also a member of MMC’s Board of Directors. Kirwin was the Executive Vice President of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. for 16 years and was directly involved with the exploration drilling at the giant Oyu Tolgoi deposit in Mongolia.

“Potential exists to greatly increase the gold-copper resources already discovered by MMC in Surigao. This is indeed a very exciting time for the company, as we fully evaluate already defined multiple targets in the coming years,” Kirwin said.

Kirwin also said that the exploration targets have many geological similarities to the Far South East at Lepanto and Philex's Boyongan project also in Surigao.

For his part, Yap added that the current buoyant copper and gold prices and future demand projections provide an opportune time for MMC to resume exploration and resource definition drilling, especially in the known high-grade deep-seated deposits of the company, commencing with the Ntina Deeps.

“The Exploration Program will be executed as soon as practically possible,” MMC said in a statement.