MANILA, Philippines – Philippine metal production in the first quarter of 2015 rose by 7.17% or P23.72 billion ($517.85 million) from P22.14 billion ($483.25 million) still on strong production of nickel, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) reported Friday, August 7.
Direct shipping nickel ore and mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide combined was 42.46% of the overall value at P10.07 billion ($219.80 million), up from P7.83 billion ($171.02 million) in the first quarter of 2014.
The following mining projects posted the highest mine output for direct-shipping nickel ore during the review period:
- Rio Tuba Nickel Project of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation in Palawan with 693,585 dry metric tons (MT)
- Claver Nickel Project of Taganito Mining Corporation in Surigao del Norte with 515,033 dry MT
- Tubay Nickel-Cobalt Project of SRMetals Incorporated in Agusan del Norte with 434,158 dry MT
- Toronto-Pulot Nickel Projects of Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation in Palawan with 413,147 dry MT
Gold (36.12%) and copper (20.60%) output comprised the total production value at P8.57 billion ($187.05 million) and P4.89 billion ($106.80 million), respectively.
Gold production is expected to increase this year with the reentry into the production stream of Siana Gold Project of Greenstone Resources Corporation in Surigao del Norte, which reported zero production in 2014 due to suspension of operations, MGB said.
Silver, chromite, and iron’s combined output, meanwhile, made up 0.81% of the total at P190 million ($4.15 million).
Metal prices remained sluggish in the first quarter of 2015, with gold, silver, copper, and nickel all exhibiting negative growth rates year-on-year.
“The sluggish price movements, particularly for base metal, were due to weaker demand, most especially from China,” MGB said in the report.
Several nickel producers reported lower earnings in the previous quarters despite higher shipment volumes because of volatile and depressed nickel prices.
The prevailing dry spell, which is expected to peak in the last quarter of the year, is expected to boost nickel production as the frequent rains are a deterrent to mining operations. – Rappler.com
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