Atlas Mining Net Income rose to Php 1.94 billion in 1H 2021
by Philippine Resources - July 26, 2021
Photo Credit: Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation
Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation ("Atlas Mining") reported net income on Php1.94 billion for the first half of 2021 compared to the net loss of Php190 million for the same period in 2020. Net income improvement benefitted from higher metal prices and improved production and shipment volumes in the second quarter.
Metal prices rose in the second quarter this year with average copper price higher by 70% to 4.21/lb and gold price by 10% to USD1,812/ounce compared to the same period last year.
Atlas Mining's wholly-owned subsidiary, Carmen Copper Corporation, reported higher copper production and shipments in the second quarter compared to the first quarter due to improvement in grades and milling tonnage. Quarter-on-quarter, copper metal produced increased by 43% from 15.93 million lbs to 22.80 million lbs while gold produced increased by 9% from 5,346 ounces to 5,829 ounces. Year-on-year, copper metal production decreased from 54.17 million pounds in 2020 to 38.73 million pounds in 2021, due mainly to the decrease in copper grades by 26% from 0.311% to 0.231% as ore milled in the first quarter was sourced from stockpiles. Gold production decreased year-on-year by 51% from 22,815 ounces to 11,176 ounces due also to lower gold grades from 7.68 grams/dmt to 5.09 grams/dmt.
Cash costs decreased by 10% year-on-year from Php4.75 billion in 2020 to Php4.26 billion in 2021, due to overall lower volumes of shipments and production. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was Php4.932 billion for the first half, 46% higher compared to Php3.373 billion in 2020. Core income for the period was Php2.158 billion in 2021 compared to Php366 million in 2020.
Based on its improved earnings, efficient operations and positive outlook, Atlas Mining continues to improve its balance sheet.
Article Courtesy of Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation
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Philippine Resources - November 05, 2021
Atlas Mining Net Income reached Php3.48 billion in 9M 2021
Photo credit: Bilyonaryo Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation (“Atlas Mining”) reported net income of Php3.48 billion for the three quarters of 2021 compared to the net income of Php490 million for the same period in 2020. Higher metal prices and the stable production in the three quarters sustained the improvement in net income. Metal prices remained high in the third quarter this year pushing average copper price higher by 60% to $4.22/lb and gold price by 4% to USD1,803/ounce compared to the same period last year. Atlas Mining’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Carmen Copper Corporation, reported higher copper production and shipments in the third quarter compared to the second quarter due to improvements in copper head grades and recovery. Quarter-on-quarter, copper metal produced increased by 11% from 22.80 million lbs to 25.36 million lbs while gold produced increased by 44% from 5,829 ounces to 8,386 ounces. Year-on-year, copper metal production decreased from 81.62 million pounds in 2020 to 64.09 million pounds in 2021, due mainly to the decrease in copper grades by 20% from 0.309% to 0.246% as ore milled in the first quarter was sourced from stockpiles. Gold production decreased year-on-year by 45% from 35,814 ounces to 19,562 ounces due also to lower gold grades from 8.05 grams/dmt to 5.38 grams/dmt. Cash costs decreased by 3% year-on-year from Php7 billion in 2020 to Php6.82 billion in 2021, due to overall lower volumes of shipments and production. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was Php8.02 billion for the three quarters, 31% higher compared to Php6.13 billion in 2020. Core income for the period was Php3.34 billion in 2021 compared to Php1.64 billion in 2020. Atlas Mining continues to strengthen its overall financial position supported by its improving earnings, efficient operations and robust metals market. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - March 08, 2022
Atlas Mining Net Income soared to Php3.86 billion in 2021
Photo credit: Bilyonaryo Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation ("Atlas Mining") reported a record net income of Php3.83 billion for the year 2021 compared to the net income of Php118 million for the same period in 2020. Stable production, resilient operation and higher metal prices sustained the turnaround performance of Atlas Mining. Metal prices remained high throughout the year pushing average copper price for 2021 higher by 53% to $4.26/1b and gold price from USD1,777/ounce to USD1,802/ounce compared to the same period last year. Atlas Mining's wholly-owned subsidiary, Carmen Copper Corporation, reported higher copper production and shipments in the second half compared to the first half of the year due to improvements in copper head grades and recovery. Copper metal produced in the second half increased by 13% from 38.73 million lbs to 43.68 million lbs while gold produced increased by 25% from 11,176 ounces to 13,997 ounces. Year-on-year, copper metal production decreased from 107.09 million pounds in 2020 to 82.41 million pounds in 2021, due mainly to the decrease in copper grades by 19% from 0.304% to 0.247%. Gold production decreased year-on-year by 47% from 47,857 ounces to 25,173 ounces due also to lower gold grades from 8.17 grams/dmt to 5.37 grams/dmt. Despite operational disruptions arising from high rainfall levels and typhoon Odette that affected our mining area, milling tonnage in 2020 of 50,000 tonnes per day or 18.3 million tonnes was sustained in 2021 which tempered the impact of lower grades. Cash costs decreased by 6% year-on-year from Php9.51 billion in 2020 to Php8.95 billion in 2021, due to overall lower volumes of shipments. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EB1TDA) was Php9.77 billion for the year, 10% higher compared to Php8.92 billion in 2020. Core income was Php3.28 billion in 2021 compared to Php2.58 billion in 2020. Atlas Mining continues to strengthen its overall financial position supported by its improving earnings, efficient operations and robust metals market. According to Atlas Mining President, Adrian Ramos, "The turnaround of Atlas Mining is credited to a resilient and stable operation that was sustained over the years with a disciplined focus on safety and efficiencies. This enabled Atlas Mining to survive the market downturn and to optimize earnings in a resurgent commodities market." Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Marcelle P. Villegas - March 17, 2021
First Offshore Magnetite Iron Mining in the PH
Last December, Apollo Global Capital’s (PSE: APL) subsidiary, JDVC Resources Corporation, announced that Department of Environment and Natural Resources granted them a permit to start the commercial operations of the country’s first offshore magnetite iron mining project. According to JDVC and APL consultant, Jun Herrera, the mining operations in Cagayan are expected to start by mid or end of February. He said that the first newly-built deep sea mining vessel arrived in Cagayan and needed to take shelter for now due to strong sea currents. In relation to this project, they assured the government that there will be minimal impact on the marine ecosystem as per the studies and survey conducted by a Singapore-based company. Their study shows that there is no coral or aquamarine life within the mining area which is located 150 meters below sea level. Herrera stated that three more vessels are expected to arrive this year. The vessel is capable of commercial extraction, sampling, testing and production of magnetite iron.  With regards to the apprehension of some residents of Ballesteros in Cagayan that this offshore mining operation will destroy the coral ecosystem, APL addressed the issue by stating that such assumption by the locals has no basis. APL stated last January, “We won’t even be mining in their waters. In the first place, our mining operation will be in the waters of Buguey and Gonzaga towns, and at a distance of over 14 kilometers. That’s more than two horizon lengths away from the shoreline.” Lazaro Ramos, a resident of Ballesteros, sent a formal complaint to DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu. Ramos warned them of the possible “catastrophe” that the offshore mining will bring about should it resumes. He mentioned in comparison a study conducted by Craig Smith from the University of Hawaii regarding the ocean seabed in the NE Pacific abyssal waters. APL, however, contradicted this argument by Ramos and said that the study by Craig Smith is applicable to a different part of the ocean and not necessarily comparable with the mining site in Cagayan. “That’s a different part of the Pacific. It looks at the ocean bed more than 200 meters below sea level, whereas we can only go down to 150 meters with current technology. Moreover, the Smith study did not look at magnetite iron reserves. From the experience of countries like Indonesia, Japan and New Zealand, magnetite iron is known to be toxic to corals, fish and other aquamarine life.” Moreover, JDVC emphasised on the study results done by the Singapore-based survey company whom they commissioned to conduct a full “sea bottom profile” of its mining tenements off Cagayan. As mentioned, their study reveals no corals or aquamarine life in the area. APL also reported that they have done their part in coordinating with the locals and providing corporate social responsibility activities for the residents of Buguey and Gonzaga. “We’re proud to say that over 90 percent of the residents support us and are even anxious for us to get started.” According to Herrera, the municipalities of Aparri, Buguey and Gonzaga received funding from the Development Bank of the Philippines. These are the municipalities covered by the mining project. DBP grated JDVC a grant worth $8-million credit line for the magnetite iron mining project. Herrera said, “We have proven to them [DBP] that it’s environmentally safe.” He added, “The DBP loan has zero borrowings yet as of now, hence, our company remains to be zero debts and internally funded by our shareholders. The DBP loan will only kick off once we have the letter of credit presented to the bank for the discounting the letter of credit of export buyers, to obtain a 90-day working capital, to fund the production of the ordered iron ore.” This project is seen as profitable, because magnetite mining has a strong market globally. In China, for example, they consider the steel industry as their “roadmap for their economic recovery”. Herrera mentioned that JVDC is an ISO-certified company. This means that there is an assurance that they shall comply with environmental standards. With all these assurances of a promising mining project ahead, some still have apprehension about it, perhaps rooting down to past incidents. In November 2020, the Cagayan Valley region was greatly affected by the Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses. The two simultaneous typhoons are classified as category-5 and category-4 tropical cyclones respectively. As an effect, the devastation was great marked by massive flooding in Isabela and Cagayan provinces.  The residents in those areas blame the National Irrigation Association (NIA) for the flood when they opened the floodgates of the nearby Magat Dam on the last minute. The two provinces were submerged in high waters as high as a two-storey building. NIA on the other hand firmly contradicted such claim and explained that the release of water from Magat Dam was not the main cause of flooding. NIA points out that proper and sufficient warnings were given to those communities in low-lying areas. Additionally, they stated that the volume of water released was only 25% of the carrying capacity of the Cagayan River. The river is the longest stream in the Philippines that serves as the catch basin of the nine provinces in three regions.  Aside from the two typhoons, a second issue related with the river was about the illegal magnetite mining at the mouth of the Cagayan River in the municipality of Aparri. The provincial board of Cagayan appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019 to stop the dredging operations of Pacific Offshore Exploration, Inc. (POEI) due to potential threat to the environment and the livelihood of the locals. The Chinese company Zhong Hai Gravel Group headed by Dong Biao Su is POEI’s partner in that operation. The company was controversial recently after the Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Coast Guard raided its Zhonhai 68 dredging vessel during a maritime security patrol off the Bataan coast. “Bureau of Customs are poised to issue a warrant of seizure and detention against the undocumented vessel.” However, the Chinese Embassy in Manila claimed that the vessel is technically non-Chinese because it is registered under an African flag of convenience.  Currently, JDVC Resources Corp. is the first and only company that was granted a declaration of mining project feasibility by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to extract magnetite sand and other minerals in Cagayan. In response to Cagayan’s decade-old black sand mining problem, the launching of Cagayan River Rehabilitation Project last February 2 is seen to solve the problem. DENR stated early in February that mining regulations will strictly monitor the extraction of magnetite or black sand in the coastal waters and rivers of Cagayan province.  With regards to APL’s/JDVC Resources Corp.’s offshore magnetite iron mining, MGB Director Wilfredo Monaco stated the project has gone through an environmental impact assessment system processes and the company has secured an environmental clearance certificate (ECC) from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).  “JDVC has undergone environmental impact assessment and the company was issued an ECC, which means environmental issues have been considered by the EMB,” Moncano stated. Magnetite or black sand mining is supposed to be banned in the Philippines, but Moncano explained that the extraction of the said mineral offshore is allowed. He said, “Mining in shoreline is prohibited but offshore mining is allowed. If it is at least 1,500 meters from the shoreline going out to the sea, it is allowed.” He also assured that the company’s operation will be monitored by the MGB and EMB, that in case of any destruction or damage to the coastal or marine ecosystem by JDVC Resources Corp., there will be a corresponding penalty under the mining law. “What is important is that the JDVC will not cause damage to the coastal or marine ecosystem,” he said. As for mining in rivers like in the Cagayan River, it is also allowed as long as the primary purpose of the project is river rehabilitation or restoration. One example is their plan to extract some 7 million metric tons of sand to remove three of the 19 sandbars along is stretch. Moncano said that the DENR-MGB will also monitor the dredging operations because while the activity is primarily flood mitigation, the minerals to be extracted include magnetite sand.  Moncano stated, “Black sand mining is also part of the purposes that’s why we will assess the mineral content of the river channel. If the magnetite sand contained surpasses the threshold of 6 percent, we will charge the company of 4-percent excise tax.” He said that every shipment will undergo mineral assessment. (--Marcelle P. Villegas, PRJ) References:  Flores, Alena Mae S. (31 Jan. 2021). Manila Standard. "Apollo Global announces subsidiary’s start of magnetite mining operations in Cagayan".  Gamboa, J. Albert (5 Feb. 2021). Business World. "Building back better in Cagayan Valley".  Mayuga, Jonathan L. (4 Feb. 2021). Business Mirror. "MGB exec vows to keep tabs of Cagayan River magnetite quarry operations set to start in February".
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Philippine Resources - July 01, 2022
Sampulna cites need for more mineral processing plants to boost PH production
Photo credit: DENR - Mr. Jim O. Sampulna Former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna pushed for the establishment of more mineral processing plants and utilization of rare earth deposits to help increase the country’s mineral production and revenue generation. “Mineral processing plants make the mined mineral ready to use for application. For example, limestone, if processed, will become cement, which is ready to use for construction,” Sampulna cited. “If we have more of these plants and more minerals will be processed in the country, then its value will increase even more than 100 percent, and lesser raw materials will be shipped out to other countries, like Japan or China,” he said. The DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau has so far issued 108 mineral processing permits, most of which are for construction materials. Likewise, Sampulna proposed the identification of rare earth elements (REEs), such as scandium and yttrium, in operating mines. Sampulna, who was the former DENR undersecretary for mining, said that these metals are essential parts for many high-technology devices. “The Philippines is conducive to these minerals. It could contribute to the national government through the identification and utilization of these commodities. To date, there are only a few operating mines which have identified REEs,” he said. Sampulna cited that a proposed iron mineral processing plant in Zamboanga had its groundbreaking ceremony on June 18, to support the DENR’s initiatives toward self-utilization of mineral commodities in the country. “We hope that investors will push for the opening of more processing plants in the Philippines,” he said. He also assured Filipinos that the DENR will continue to strengthen its regulation and monitoring of mining operations to ensure sustainable and responsible mineral production in the country. Article courtesy of Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Philippine Resources - June 29, 2022
DENR Awards MGB with Plaque of Appreciation for the Success of the Boracay Island Rehabilitation
Photo: The MGB Boracay Island Rehabilitation Team together with former DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu Four years after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) spearheaded the rehabilitation of the Boracay Island, the DENR Acting Secretary and Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) Chair Jim O. Sampulna CESO I awarded the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) a Plaque of Appreciation for its valuable contribution to the success of the Boracay Island Rehabilitation during the BIATF’s culminating event on June 16, 2022. Boracay Island is one of the most developed and densely populated karstic islands in the Philippines. The extensive alteration of its natural landscape, as well as the alleged discharge of wastewater into the sea, posed a major environmental concern, prompting its temporary closure on April 26, 2018. The BIATF then launched the rehabilitation of Boracay island to safeguard its sustainable development. As part of the BIATF, the MGB team, led by Lands Geological Survey Division (LGSD) Chief Liza Socorro J. Manzano, was composed of technical personnel from the LGSD of MGB Central Office and the Geosciences Division of MGB Regional Office No. VI. The team conducted studies on hydrogeology, coastal geohazards, karst subsidence hazard, and geophysical investigations using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and georesistivity. The highly specialized studies sought to provide a holistic understanding of the island’s karstology and the impacts of tourism development to ensure that the rehabilitation efforts of the government are predicated on the ecological sustainability of the small island karst. Ultimately, the results of the GPR investigation on pipes discreetly disposing wastewater and polluting the seawater of Boracay which resulted in the discovery of their existence and eventual dismantling of the same is a "game-changer" relative to the implementation of science-based strategies and crafting of policies for appropriate wastewater and solid waste management in the island. Article courtesy of the MGB
Philippine Resources - June 28, 2022
The Fault with Cobalt: Overcoming the Challenges of Battery Metal Exploration
upply Co., Inc. Cobalt is an important element used to manufacture rechargeable batteries. Cobalt has unique properties that help improve thermal stability, which is critical for the batteries to function properly. It also helps improve some batteries’ energy density, so they can last longer. The demand for cobalt is high, so geologists need fast, accurate tools to help them meet these requirements. Portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analyzers are one of these tools, as they provide on-the-spot material chemistry results. Why Choose Portable XRF for Cobalt Exploration? Portable XRF provides rapid, in situ, multielement geochemistry for immediate results in the field. This is useful for greenfield and brownfield exploration, ore grade and process control, environmental monitoring and remediation, and researching/teaching within the geological/environmental sciences. For battery metal exploration, portable XRF provides decision-quality data faster than traditional, lab-based XRF, and also enables more discriminatory laboratory sampling, helping reduce costs and improve ROI. With sample preparation, pXRF produces high-quality quantitative data that is comparable to laboratory analysis. Challenges with Analyzing Cobalt XRF is prone to inter-element interferences. Iron (Fe) on cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni) on cobalt (Co) are two common examples. This means that when a lot of iron is present, it becomes difficult for XRF to identify cobalt at low levels. Likewise, the presence of nickel also makes it difficult for XRF to ID cobalt. Unfortunately, cobalt is routinely explored for in the presence of significant amounts of iron and nickel. To solve this challenge, we developed a GeoChem method for Vanta™ pXRF analyzers that offers improved analysis for battery metals exploration by being able to detect cobalt in the presence of iron and nickel. This innovative method overcomes the interference that has historically made it very difficult for portable XRF analyzers to detect cobalt in the presence of these other elements. The method we developed for the Vanta analyzer is built on the current GeoChem method, but with a more sophisticated way of deconvoluting the iron/cobalt/nickel peaks. Before deploying this solution, we tested it on client samples to make sure that it produced good results. Test Results We analyzed 16 samples with high iron content—9% < Fe < 50%, 50 ≤ Co ≤ 6000 ppm, Ni < 500 ppm. We also analyzed 50 samples with a moderate amount of iron—0.5% < Fe < 15%, 16 < Ni < 8000 ppm, 50 ppm < Co < 2.3%. The samples were pulps in XRF cups, and they were analyzed using 60 seconds per beam with no corrections. The graphs below show excellent agreement between the results obtained from a lab and results obtained using a Vanta portable XRF analyzer, indicating that the modified GeoChem method can accurately detect the presence of cobalt when it’s in the presence of both large and moderate amounts of the interfering elements iron and nickel. Geologists now have another important tool that they can rely on when exploring for new sources of this vital element.
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