Gold Fields has made a second down payment of $66 million in terms of option agreements to acquire a 60% interest in the undeveloped Far Southeast (FSE) gold-copper deposit in northern Luzon, the Philippines. The option agreements were with Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. and Liberty Express Assets, a private holding company.
The non-refundable $66-million payment to Liberty is the second in a series of three payments. A first payment of $54 million was paid upon signing of the option agreements in September 2010. Should Gold Fields decide to proceed with the acquisition of the 60% interest, the final payment of $220 million is expected to be paid during the first half of 2012.
Following signing of the option agreements, Gold Fields initiated an extensive drilling program at FSE. Eight underground drill rigs are currently turning at the property. Initial results support the existence and extent of the known core of mineralization, as well as further extensions both laterally and at depth beyond this core. The company is continuing with its underground drilling program and has begun surface geotechnical drilling.
The FSE project is situated in an existing mining camp in close proximity to two other mines historically operated by Lepanto.