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PH metal output jumped in 1st quarter

/ 05:06 AM June 12, 2019

Despite restrictive policies on mining, the value of the country’s metallic production in the first quarter of the year registered a double-digit growth as global trade wars and political uncertainties push companies to invest particularly in gold.

The robust performance of mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide (MNCS) and gold drove the positive turnout of the industry, which yielded P27.47 billion during the period—up 11.57 percent from P24.62 billion a year ago.

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The precious yellow metal continued to validate its dominance over other metals, comprising 45 percent of the whole production pie with P12.22 billion, and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) sees its positive turnout to continue.

The Masbate gold project of Filminera Mining Corp. and Didipio Gold of OceanaGold Philippines were at the forefront of gold operations with a combined output and contribution of 2,835 kilos and P6.22 billion, respectively—or more than half of the country’s gold production.

“In the local front, we still see gold dominating the production scene,” the MGB said in its quarterly review, noting that the passage of Republic Act No. 11256 or the “An Act to Strengthen the Country’s Gross International Reserves (GIR)” would encourage even small-scale miners to once again sell their gold to the central bank.

The law, which was amended in May, exempts gold from small-scale mining activities from excise and income tax if they would sell their gold to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas based on prevailing global prices.

“At the end of the day, RA 11256 will not only boost the GIR of the country but also increase the country’s annual total metallic production value,” MGB added.

A study conducted by S&P showed that political tensions among nations lifted interest in gold mining anew, which could further push prices up. Thus, gold is seen to lend the most glitter in terms of deal activity this year.

In contrast, nickel production slowed down following a string of suspensions implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources due to alleged environmental violations. —KARL R. OCAMPO

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