Philex says Philippine mine project may cost $500 mln

Top Philippine miner Philex Mining Corp (PX.PS) said on Wednesday it may need $500 million to develop and operate a gold and copper project in the southern Mindanao island

The company told Manila's stock exchange it expects to complete a pre-feasibility study on the Boyongan project by the end of 2009, after which it would advance to a definitive feasibility study for a firmer estimate of the capital cost.

In September, Philex bought out partner Anglo American Plc (AAL.L) in the Boyongan gold and copper project in Surigao del Norte province for $55 million.

The Boyongan lode is one of the government's priority mining projects, with an estimated ore reserve of 300 million tonnes at 0.6 percent copper and 1 gram per tonne of gold, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau. (Reported by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Lincoln Feast, reuters)

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