Philex Mining Corporation, is one of the oldest and largest gold and copper producers in Southeast Asia, and a leader in right and principled mining. The Company generated an additional of Php314 million in core net income for 2Q2023, reporting a 1H2023 core net income of Php702 million. EBITDA of Php553 million for 2Q2023 increased 1H2023 EBITDA to Php1.188 billion.
Lower tonnage milled for 2Q2023 when compared to 2Q2022 levels resulted in the contraction of gold and copper output by 21% and 13%, respectively. Slight improvement in gold prices continue to mitigate the negative impact of the softening copper prices when compared to the same period in 2022. The combined negative effect of the lower metal production and softening of the copper prices was mitigated by the slight improvement in gold prices resulted to operating revenues of Php2.051 billion in 2Q2023, 17% lower than the Php2.485 billion for the same period in 2022 and 3% lower than the Php2.105 billion in 1Q2023. Realized gold price at US$1,937 per ounce in the second quarter was higher by 6% when compared to 2Q2022, while realized copper price at US$3.82 per pound was 7% lower when compared to 2Q2022. Prices for gold and copper for the first half of the year averaged at US$1,924 per ounce and US$3.91 per pound, respectively. Operating costs and expenses for 2Q2023 slightly increased by 2% to Php1.701 billion from Php1.663 billion in 2Q2022.
The Company milled a total of 1.825 million tonnes during 2Q2023, 7% higher than the 1.706 million tonnes milled in 1Q2023, but 2% lower than the 1.859 million tonnes in 2Q2022. Total tonnage milled for 1H2023 was at 3.531 million tonnes, lower by 4% than the 3.681 million tonnes in the same period last year, as the Company continues to address the unscheduled breakdowns of the ageing equipment at the mill plant. Ore grades for gold and copper for 2Q2023 declined by 14% and 7%, respectively, when compared to the same period in 2Q2022. Gold output for 2Q2023 was 10,300 ounces, higher by 2% than the 10,062 ounces of 1Q2023, but lower by 21% against the 13,116 ounces in 2Q2022. On the other hand, copper output for 2Q2023 at 5.642 million pounds was higher by 2% than the 5.531 million pounds of 1Q2023, but lower by 13% versus 6.461 million pounds in 2Q2022.
Total gold output for 1H2023 stood at 20,361 ounces while copper output was at 11.173 million pounds, lower by 19% and 12%, respectively when compared to the same period in 2022.
Operating costs and expenses for 2Q2023 at Php1.701 billion was higher than the same period in 2Q2022 at Php1.663 billion, despite lower tonnage milled. The continued implementation of efficiency measures in operations offset the increases in the purchase costs of the materials and supplies as well as equipment parts and repairs. Higher power costs, however, continued to increase operating costs and expenses despite lower production level.
Total operating costs and expenses for 1H2023 at Php3.338 billion was almost the same as the Php3.318 billion in 1H2022.
Despite the current challenges in Padcal mine operations, the Company is still on track with development works on the Silangan Project in Surigao del Norte. The construction of the east decline portal has been completed and the arrival of tunnelling equipment, such as low profile loaders, jumbo drill and accessories allowed for the commencement of tunnelling works as programmed. The ongoing tunnelling works is on its second month and is necessary for the development of the mine production levels as well as ventilation openings. The preparatory works, including permitting works for the tailings storage facility (“TSF”) is simultaneously being undertaken. More recently and in line with the project timelines, the tender documents for the construction of the process plant had been issued to potential contractors.
The Company is in the final stage of negotiation and documentation of the syndicated debt facility to complete the funding requirement of the Silangan project. The debt syndication is spearheaded by BDO Capital and Investment Corporation and targets to raise a minimum of US$100 million. This new credit facility completes the full funding requirement for the Silangan Project after the stock rights offering (SRO) last year and the capital infusion from the Company out of its cash reserves.
“Cautious optimism is still the name of the game,” according to Philex President and CEO Eulalio B. Austin Jr. “The first half of the year was challenging, no doubt, but we are still confident that, with the Silangan Project and other prospects in the pipeline, the situation would improve. We are all geared up for mining opportunities moving forward.”