Apex Mining Co., the Philippine gold producer, rose by the daily 50 percent limit in Manila after saying it may have found “high-grade” bullion in a mine in the south.
Apex Class A shares, reserved for Filipinos, gained 50 percent to 4.05 pesos at the noon close of trading in Manila. The stock had the sharpest gain since Dec. 2, 2004. The Class B shares, with no ownership restrictions, also jumped 50 percent to 3.75 pesos, the highest close since Sept. 18.
Apex “intersected high-grade gold” in a previously untested part of the Maco mine, located on the southern island of Mindanao, according to a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday. Apex has prospected the area since 1970.
“The discovery got some investors excited,” said James Lago, head of research at Manila-based PCCI Securities Brokers Corp. “If this find does have a high gold content, the valuation of the mine site will increase.”
Apex’s A and B shares recorded the two biggest percentage gains in the Philippine Stock Exchange All Share Index, which decreased 0.2 percent. The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index, made up of the market’s 30 biggest companies, fell 0.1 percent.
Today’s gain wiped out the stock’s losses this year. Apex’s A shares have risen 42 percent since the end of 2009, while the B shares have gained 34 percent.
“Investors who own Apex have hit a bonanza,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at Manila-based investment advisory firm First Grade Holdings Inc. “Until the size of this discovery is determined, the stock will be the target of speculation.”
The company expects to produce 25,000 ounces of gold this year after output grew 41 percent to 12,142 ounces in the first half, Chairman Colin Patterson said in Apex’s annual stockholders meeting last week. Apex produced 20,727 ounces of gold in 2009.
“The mineralized zone contains highly anomalous gold mineralization averaging 209.5 g/t gold over a drilled thickness of 1.75 meters at an elevation of 470RL,” Apex said yesterday in the filing.