Philex Mining Corporation is looking at Indonesia for its next acquisition target-potentially pitting itself again with local merger and acquisition rival San Miguel Corporation.
In a chance interview, Philex chair Manuel V. Pangilinan said they are hoping to acquire a mining company in Indonesia and they are looking at both gold and coal mining companies as potential targets.
SMC was reported to have been looking for another coal miner to acquire or forge a joint venture with after it signed an agreement with Indonesian company Merukh Enterprises last July to invest $200 million in the development of coal reserves.
The coal areas are in Aceh, Kalimantan and Papua. The agreement will allow the Indonesian mining outfit to export coal to San Miguel’s coal-fired power plants in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the Pangilinan-led First Pacific group, which operates a leading manufacturing firm PT Indofood in Indonesia, will also need coal for the power plants it plans to build in the Subic Bay Freeport.
Aside from this, cash-rich Philex is also regularly on the look-out for new gold and copper mines to acquire as its Padcal mine is expected to run out of reserves by 2020.
Philex is currently also active in exploring the areas surrounding the Padcal mine as part of its drive to prolong the mine’s life to the optimum extent possible.
It has more than 15,000 hectares of open ground in which several areas have been targeted for drilling or are now being drilled.
Philex has also acquired a five per cent stake in Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company which would provide Philex with an avenue to participate in the Far Southeast Gold Project of Lepanto as an investment opportunity for growth and enhancement of shareholder value.
The firm also signed an agreement with Lepanto’s affiliate Manila Mining Corporation wherein Philex acquired an initial five percent for an eventual 60 per cent equity in Kalayaan Copper Gold Resources Inc.