Australian miner Metals Exploration's subsidiary FCF Minerals said on Thursday its $150 million Runruno gold and molybdenum project in the Philippines may start production in the second half of 2012.

We have submitted the declaration of our mining feasibility to the government. The Mines bureau has already endorsed the feasibility study to the Environment department, FCF country manager Craig Watkins said at a mining conference in Manila.

Once approved, he said the FCF would immediately start on-ground developmental works and move into the production phase at a 400-hectare mining property in the northern Nueva Vizcaya province.

On Tuesday, Mines and Geoscience Bureau chief Leo Jasareno told reporters the Environment department was set to endorse next week the Runruno project for approval by the Office of the President.

Based on recent resource mapping, the project will churn out 1 million ounces of gold within a mine life of 10 years and eight months, with an annual average production through open-pit mining estimated at 101.8 ounces of gold.