Philippines’ metal production sustains growth momentum
The value of metal production in the Philippines in the three quarters ending September expanded by 29.21 percent to P175.61 billion from P136.21 billion, buoyed by rising metal prices and higher production, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).
“The important factors for this development were the bullish prices of nickel ore and gold paired with the increased mine output of gold, silver, chromite, and iron ore during the period,” MGB said in a report.
“Overall, there was a remarkable increase in the value of mineral commodities, year-on-year,” it added.
Nickel ore prices stood at $11.97 per pound, up by 47.21 percent from $8.13 per pound in the same period a year prior.
Gold’s average price increased by 1.36 percent to $1,826.47 per troy ounce from $1,801.97 per troy ounce.
Silver price, however, averaged $21.94 per troy ounce, down by 14.84 percent from $25.77 per troy ounce.
Copper price registered a meager decrease of 0.64 percent to $4.12 per pound from $4.15 per pound year-on-year.
Nickel ore, along with nickel by-products mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide and scandium oxalate, remains the biggest contributor to the country’s metal output value with P86.94 billion, equivalent to a share of 49.40 percent.
Gold took the second spot with P67.45 billion or a 38.32 percent share and copper accounted for P18.99 billion or 10.79 percent of the total.
Silver, chromite and iron ore contributed the remaining P2.63 billion which is about 1.49 percent. The MGB said this was the first time the combined value of these three breached the P1-billion mark. This was attributed to the increased production from TVI Resource Development Philippines’ Balabag Gold-Silver Project.
Production of nickel direct shipping ore for the reference period declined by 17 percent to 22,525,878 dry metric tons.
Gold output rose by 16 percent to 21,836 kilograms while that of silver soared by 131 percent to 41,710 kg.
Meanwhile, the volume of copper produced grew by 22 percent to 190,767 dry metric tons.
“Still, on the local front, the government is aiming to tap the potential of the mining sector to push for the country’s economic growth through the Declaration of more Minahang Bayan (MB),” MGB said.
MGB said Minahang Bayan is the government’s strategy to first, effect an orderly, systematic, and ecologically balanced administration and disposition of small-scale mining areas.
The government earlier said it was banking on the extractive sector as a key driver for the country’s long-term economic expansion.
“On the international front, experts believe that in the short-term (the fourth quarter of) 2022 to 2023, metal prices are expected to go down, reflective of weaker global growth and concerns over a slowdown in China’s demand due to its zero COVID policy and the slowdown of its real estate sector,” it said.
“But still, experts went on to say that prices are expected to remain higher than their average over the past five years. Which is a positive thing for our local mining industry,” it added.
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