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Philex Earnings Grow in Q1
by Philippine Resources - May 03, 2021
Philex Mining Corp.'s first-quarter earnings were boosted dramatically by the gold and copper prices, as the group became more optimistic about the mining industry after the government ended a nine-year-old ban on new mining investments.
In the first three months of this year, the Pangilinan-led firm's net income was P559.6 million, more than five times higher than a year before, the company told the stock exchange.
Philex shares were up 5.83 percent as of 10:55 a.m. on the last trading day of the week, indicating that investors were pleased with the news. Despite the disturbances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the company attributed its strong financial results to "higher operating profits resulting from higher gold and copper prices."
“The higher prices of gold and copper helped the Company maintain its uninterrupted operations despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic,” Eulalio Austin Jr., company president and chief executive, said in a statement.
“God willing, the favorable gold and copper prices will continue up to the end of the year, as the pandemic is still with us and many more challenges may lie ahead,” Austin added.
According to Philex's data, realized gold prices increased by an annualized 11% to $1,781 per ounce on average from January to March, while realized copper prices remained stable at $3.95 per pound, up 68 percent year-over-year.
As a result, gross operating sales, excluding smelting costs, increased 38 percent year over year to P2.3 billion in the fourth quarter. Philex claimed to have produced 13,413 ounces of gold and 6.770 million pounds of copper during those three months.
Expenditures, on the other hand, remained within reasonable bounds. From January to March, the firm announced a 6% increase in operational costs and expenditures to P1.6 billion, owing to “higher tonnage milled.”
President Rodrigo Duterte's executive order, which lifted his predecessor's moratorium on new mining deals, would "undoubtedly establish a favorable environment for the mining industry," Philex said. The group is hoping that the drive to liberalize the mining industry would help it expand its Silangan mine, a large-scale high-grade copper-gold project in Surigao del Norte that has had difficulty attracting investors because of the pandemic.
“We are here not just to survive, but to thrive,” Manuel Pangilinan, company chairman, said.
Philippine Resources - March 10, 2021
Philex Still Searching for Strategic Partners
In the development of the Silangan copper and gold project in Surigao del Norte, Philex Mining Corporation has continued its search for strategic partners, saying that it is currently in discussion with potential investors. “We are closely working with our financial advisors in the search for a strategic partner and this includes several major Chinese mining companies,” Philex said. Philex president and CEO Eulalio Austin earlier said that Morgan Stanley is helping the firm with its search. However, searching for the right investors has proved to be challenging as the firm earlier targeted to raise at least $350 million by the first half of 2020, which was to be raised as equity, and the balance of $400 million through loans. “The pandemic has slowed down global M&A (merger and acquisition) transactions and the investors for Silangan project is no exception,” Philex said. In December, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has renewed its mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) - which covers another 25 years of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Silangan Mindanao Mining Co. Inc., the operator of the $750-million Silangan copper and gold project. Austin said that the firm is working closely with the financial advisor to bring Silangan into operation and to also optimize its Padcal mine. The firm also added that with the recent trend in costs, the long-erm prospective for copper and gold has also tremendously increased the interest of global investors in the Silagan project. Philex noted that its core net income jumped from P156 million in 2019 to P1.16 billion in 2020. The costs of gold were at the highest in the third quarter, which has reached $1,915 per ounce, and copper was at $3.43 per pound in December 2020. Operating revenues went from P6.79 billion to P7.8 billion. In the first and third quarter of 2020, tonnage milled at an average of 1.985 million tons per quarter. In the fourth quarter, this decreased to 1.881 million tons because of the impact of COVID. In spite of this, the production of gold went up to 56,000 ounces, and also produced 26.38 million pounds of copper. In total, Philex produced 56,000 ounces of gold and 26.379 million pounds of copper.
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Philippine Resources - May 07, 2021
DPWH says BGC-Ortigas Bridge to Open in June
The Bonifacio Global City (BGC)-Ortigas Bridge will open on June 12, said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). “Our target opening is on June 12, Independence Day. Motorists will be able to use the bridge next month,” DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said in a video posted on Facebook during his inspection of the project on Thursday. The bridge would connect the business districts of BGC and Ortigas, cutting travel time from an hour to just 12 minutes. He also said that the bridge is now 81% complete. "The entrance of the bridge is at Kalayaan (Avenue) and the exit is at Fairlane in Ortigas," he added. It will be able to accommodate about 50,000 cars a day when it is finished. “Next month on Independence Day, watch out for the delivery, the opening of the BGC-Ortigas Pasig Bridge,” Villar said. The government's PHP1.793 billion development programme is part of a plan to decongest Epifanio de Los Santos Avenue (EDSA).
Philippine Resources - May 07, 2021
DENR Applauds Women's Contributions to PH Mining
Women have made a major contribution to the growth and advancement of the country's mining industry, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, with more women leaders advancing to top-level roles. “We need the active participation of women in policy formulation and program development not only to advance their rights in terms of decision-making and leadership but to empower them to address environmental challenges and climate change,” Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said. According to Nonita Caguioa, DENR Assistant Secretary for Finance, Information Systems, and Mining Concerns, more women are now working in the mining industry, as shown by the increase in female workers in mining firms and at the DENR's Mines and Geosciences Bureau. “We have different mining companies in the nickel industry who already have women, senior officials. Not only in nickel mining, but we can also see now plenty of women in the mining industry in general,” she said. “There are even those who have just finished college in geology, metallurgy or mining engineering, some of whom are already employed with some of the mining companies or the government service,” Caguioa added. With more women working in the mining industry, she cited laws like Republic Act 9710, or the Magna Carta of Women of 2009, RA 7877, or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, and RA 7192, or the Women in Development and Nation Building Act of 1992, that promote and protect their rights. According to Caguioa, the DENR has non-discrimination clauses in mining licenses and arrangements to “respect the right of women workers to engage in policy and decision-making procedures that concern their interests and benefits.” Caguioa earned a mining engineering degree from the Cebu Institute of Technology before entering the DENR.
Philippine Resources - May 07, 2021
Semirara Mining Expects Profit Recovery This Year
Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC), a publicly traded integrated energy firm, expect some profit recovery this year, owing to improved coal and power demand and costs. SMPC chairman and CEO Isidro Consunji said at the company's virtual stockholders' meeting that the company's bottom line will boost as the coal and energy markets rebound from last year's historic lows. “To take advantage of the upswing, we will capitalize on our COVID-19 resiliency and adaptation strategy of focusing on our people, finances, and execution skills. However, given our operational headwinds and until our country reaches herd immunity, it is unlikely that we will return to our pre-pandemic profit level this year,” he said. The business ended in 2020 with a combined net income of P3.3 billion, down 66% from P9.6 billion the previous year. Revenues dropped 36.2 per cent to P23.3 billion as coal production, sales, and prices fell, while energy sales fell due to low power rates and Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp's (SLPGC) expected and unplanned outages. The coal division of SMPC and the SLPGC plants will be the key drivers of development this year. With remedial steps introduced in Molave North Block 7 (NB7), the coal industry is expected to reach 13 million metric tons, according to SMPC president and COO Maria Cristina Gotianun. “This year, we expect our coal business to perform better on the back of recovering consumption and prices. The remedial measures we have been implementing since December have also allowed us to steadily normalize production. Now that the water seepage at NB7 has gone down to manageable levels, we expect annual production to hit 13 million metric tons,” she said. Due to excessive water seepages, SMPC postponed mining operations in Molave NB7 in early December, reducing coal output by 13% to 13.2 million metric tons. SLPGC is expected to drive profits in SMPC's power market due to higher sales, but Sem-Calaca Power Corp. (SCPC) is expected to produce poor performance. SCPC is the owner of the Calaca coal-fired power plant in Batangas, which it bought from the government in 2009 for $362 million. In the same location, SLPGC operates a 2x150-MW coal power plant. “For this year, we expect uneven results from our power subsidiaries. SLPGC is set to stage a strong profit recovery because of higher plant availability and better spot market prices. Unfortunately, SCPC is likely to deliver disappointing results because of the forced outage of its Unit 2 beginning Dec. 3 last year,” Gotianun said. SCPC's outage was triggered by a seven-month-old generator stator failing. Repairs are currently being negotiated with generator provider GE, according to Gotianun. “While they have agreed to cover the majority of the costs related to fixing the equipment, we are intent on making them shoulder all the necessary expenses. We expect to complete our negotiations within the year,” she said. “In the meantime, we are doing our best to fast track the repair of the generator. If all goes well, Unit 2 can be up and running by the third quarter of this year,” Gotianun said. This year, SMPC will invest P4 billion to rebound from last year's slump. The overall sum will be divided between SCPC and SLPGC for their prevention and repair services, with P2.9 billion going to buy mining and service equipment for the coal industry. Since the COVID-19 pandemic placed a burden on the company's liquidity last year, the management agreed to delay P3.7 billion of CAPEX to this year as part of its cash saving steps.