Mining

Mining

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

Mining

Marcelle P. Villegas - November 02, 2021

The PH Mining Club’s Bamboo Summit and Reinventing Mining

In celebration of World Bamboo Day last September 18, The Philippine Mining Club presented a webinar/summit titled "Bamboo Economics and Initiatives to Re-Imagine Mining into Social Enterprises -- A Summit on Re-Imagining, Developing, and Sustaining Mining Communities in the Philippines with Bamboo."   The summit was a 5-hour online event that was made possible in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry Philippines, Philippine Nickel Industry Association, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, Kilusang 5K, and more.

Mining

Philippine Resources - October 31, 2021

Philex core net income jumps 116% to Php1.865 billion in three quarters

Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, production and favorable metal prices for gold and copper have been sustained since 1Q2021. As a result, the Management and the Board of Directors of Philex Mining Corporation recently announced that the Company generated another quarter of positive results. Philex recorded a Core Net Income of Php716 million for the quarter, higher by 55% than the same period in 3Q2020, mainly due to higher copper prices, favorable foreign exchange rates and managed operating expenses. The 3Q2021 Core Net Income of Php716 million rides on the positive and upward profit trend from the Php540 million achieved in 1Q2021 and the Php610 million posted in 2Q2021. This brings the 9M2021 core net income to Php1.865 billion, higher by 116% over the same period of 9M2020, attributable to favorable metal prices, sustained metal output and efficient deployment of operating costs and expenses. On the other hand, 3Q2021 EBITDA at Php1.168 billion continue to maintain the positive trend during the first two quarters EBITDA of Php2.027 billion, to top up 9M2021 EBITDA to Php3.194 billion, a 57% rise from the same period 9M2020. Reported net income for 3Q2021 is Php721 million, a 46% increase over the same period 3Q2020, while 9M2021 Reported net income reached Php1.880 billion, a 105% increase from 9M2020. Production and Revenues The Company generated higher tonnage in the third quarter of the year. For 3Q2021, total tonnage milled was at 2.006 million tonnes slightly higher compared to 1.985 million tonnes in 3Q2020 and 1.943 million tonnes of 2Q2021. Philex produced slightly lower gold output at 14,270 ounces in 3Q2021 when compared to 3Q2020 due to lower gold grades while the slightly higher copper grades produced higher copper output at 6.54 million pounds, which mitigated the impact to the total revenues. The Company was able to maintain a positive trend in metal output since 1Q2021 for both gold and copper mainly due to the resilient execution of the mining plan that resulted to better blended metal grades and sustained level of metal output. The favorable prices for both gold and copper attributed to the higher revenues for 3Q2021 at Php2.656 billion, a 13% increase over the revenues of the same period of 3Q2020 at Php2.350 billion. The favorable foreign exchange rate contributed to higher revenues in 3Q2021. For the 9M2021 period, revenues at Php7.742 billion was higher by 22% from revenues of 9M2020 at Php6.332 billion. This is attributable to the significant increase in the realized price of copper since 3Q2020 resulting into a higher contribution of revenues from copper at 52% of total revenues for 9M2021 from 40% of total revenues for 9M2020. On the other hand, revenues contribution from gold declined from 59% in 9M2020 to 47% in 9M2021 mainly due to the slightly lower gold output, from 43,136 ounces in 9M2020 to 41,295 ounces in 9M2021. Operating Costs and Expenses The Company’s operating cost and expenses for 3Q2021 stood at Php1.603 billion, higher than 3Q2020 of Php1.582 billion. The slight increase is consistent with the slightly higher tonnage milled in 3Q2021 versus 3Q2020. Materials and supplies usage at Php454 million accounting for 28% of operating cost remained almost the same level. Power costs, accounting for 18% of operating cost, was higher at Php290 million, an of 7% when compared to 3Q2020. Overall, the Company continue to manage operating cost efficiently. For the 9M2021, operating cost inched up by 3% to Php4.843 billion from Php4.686 billion in 9M2020 as a result of higher power and labor costs from higher tonnage milled, and higher excise taxes attributed to the higher total revenues. For the nine months period ended September 30,2021, the Company recorded its share in the net losses of its associates amounting to Php510 million, inclusive of the Company’s share in the PXP Energy Corporation provision for impairment of assets and goodwill related to Peru block Z-38, net of proceeds from the settlement agreement with third party. As a result of the extension of the Padcal mine life from December 31,2022 to December 31,2024, the Company recognized a net reversal of the previously recorded impairment provision in its mining assets amounting to Php374 million. Positive outlook and extension of Padcal life of mine By itself, 3Q2021 ushered in a more stable and continuing positive outlook for the mining industry, brought about by significant developments in the previous quarter. In April 14, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued Executive Order No. 130 which amended Section 4 of Executive Order No. 79 and lifted the moratorium on mineral agreements that had been existing for the past 9 years. This will pave the way for the development of stalled mining projects, leading to renewed investor’s interest in our Silangan Project. The Company is currently exploring options on viable financial packages that would bankroll a phased development approach (In Phase Development) of Silangan. The extended Life of Mine from December, 2022 to December, 2024 will ensure the continuous employment of 1,831 Padcal employees and support the social development of the Host Local Government Units (LGU) and neighboring communities especially in this time of COVID- 19 Pandemic. It will also give more time for the Company to bring the Silangan Project to development and commissioning stages. “In response to this global trend of strong demand and strong metal prices, as well as responding to the Government challenge for the revitalization of the mining industry, Philex will keep improving on how we do things and undertake innovative initiatives related to the promotion of right and principled mining,” according to Eulalio B. Austin Jr., President and CEO. “The pursuit for excellence is a continuous journey and we have to keep raising the bar.” “With higher metal prices and a better economic outlook for the mining industry moving forward, we can maintain the momentum of last year’s exemplary performance into this year, notwithstanding the pandemic and the challenges we have faced in our operations,” concluded M.V. Pangilinan, Chairman. “Time and again, the women and men of Philex have proven their resilience during tough times. With the extension of Padcal mine life for another two years, the prospect of a viable financial package for our Silangan project, and the rollout of our vaccination program for our employees and their dependents, it looks like the full year 2021 will produce excellent results for your Company.”   Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange

Mining

Philippine Resources - October 31, 2021

OceanaGold Posts Q3 Results and Updates

Photo credit: Oceanagold OceanaGold Corporation reported its financial and operational results for the quarter ended September 30, 2021. Details of the consolidated financial statements and the Management Discussion and Analysis are available on the Company’s website. Scott Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer & Acting CEO of OceanaGold said, “I am very pleased with the financial performance of the business driven by strong EBITDA and profits. The main drivers of this financial performance relate to a strong quarter at Haile and Didipio, where we are pleased to announce the completion of gold-copper 2 concentrate transportation. Despite this strong performance, we have much work ahead of us to progress the safe restart of Didipio processing and mining operations, complete the Haile Technical Review and get the New Zealand operations back on-track while continuing to manage the ongoing risks associated with the pandemic.” “The Didipio restart activities continue to exceed our expectations with recruiting and training activities progressing to plan despite the ongoing risks associated with COVID-19. We are pleased to announce the resumption of underground mining and the delivery of underground ore to the ROM pad early in October, one month ahead of schedule. Stope development is expected to commence in the coming weeks and we will continue to ramp-up underground operations to full mining production rates over the course of the next eight to nine months. Processing activities are tracking ahead of plan with recommissioning of the primary crusher completed in the third quarter. We expect milling at Didipio to recommence in mid-November with ore sourced primarily from stockpiles and supplemented progressively with higher-grade underground ore.” “At Haile, the operation achieved a better-than-expected quarter of production with costs in-line with expectations. Although the fourth quarter is expected to deliver softer production from mining and processing of lower grades, we are well positioned to finish the year strongly. We are pleased to increase Haile’s 2021 production range to 175,000 to 180,000 ounces of gold reflecting the better-than-expected operating performance over the first nine months of the year. The Haile Technical Review continues to advance well, and we are expecting to complete a new mine plan within the first half of 2022.” “In New Zealand, both operations were adversely impacted by the two-week nationwide lockdown. At Waihi, the impact related to the shutdown and subsequent regional lockdowns was greater than first expected with carry over impacts in our supply chain beyond the two-week closure. Additionally, recent updates to the resource models impact material planned for the fourth quarter. As a result, Waihi is now expected to deliver 30,000 to 35,000 ounces of gold for the full year. Despite the challenges Waihi has had recently, ramp-up of Martha Underground mining rates continue to advance and the Company expects a stronger fourth quarter and 2022. At Macraes, we are focused on delivering a strong fourth quarter of production to achieve the narrowed guidance range of 138,000 to 143,000 ounces.” “Looking ahead, the Company reaffirms its full year guidance range of 350,000 and 370,000 ounces of gold at an AISC of $1,200 to $1,250 per ounce sold. Operations Consolidated gold production for the YTD 2021 was 256,216 ounces, including 79,177 ounces in the third quarter. YTD gold production increased 27% above the prior YTD driven by higher production from Haile partially offset by lower production at Macraes. Third quarter gold production decreased 16% due to softer production from the New Zealand operations, principally related to the two-week nationwide COVID-19 lockdown and lower production at Haile from lower grades as expected. YTD and third quarter consolidated AISC were $1,218 per ounce and $1,200 per ounce on gold sales of 276,226 ounces and 97,445 ounces, respectively. AISC was flat quarter-on-quarter and YTD, attributable to higher gold sales that are largely offset by higher sustaining capital investments. In the Philippines, the Government renewed the Didipio FTAA for an additional 25-years effective June 19, 2019. The renewal in mid-July paved the way for the resumption of operations and commencement of restart activities including the recruitment and training of the workforce, delivery of equipment and supplies, the transportation and sale of gold and copper inventory (both doré and concentrate), process plant maintenance and recommissioning and underground inspections and upgrades. The Didipio restart activities continue to advance well with recruitment tracking to plan. The Company expects 90% of the workforce to be in place by the end of the year subject to continued management of COVID-19. Process plant restart activities continue to progress ahead of expectations with recommissioning of the primary crusher completed prior to the end of the quarter, completion of upgrades to the Ball and SAG mills and delivery of supplies ahead of first ore feed in mid-November. Underground mine inspections were completed in the third quarter along with upgrades and delivery of new Sandvik equipment. In the third quarter, the Company began ore mining, one month ahead of schedule while stope development is expected in November. First underground ore was delivered successfully to the ROM pad at the end of the third quarter. During the third quarter, the Company sold 19,151 gold ounces and 3,356 tonnes of copper from inventory on hand at Didipio. All gold-copper concentrate has been delivered successfully to the San Fernando port and the Company has received $38 million of cash as at the end of the third quarter. The Company expects to progressively receive all payments associated with the sale of gold-copper concentrate prior to the end of the year. In the United States, Haile produced 147,491 ounces of gold YTD, including 45,910 ounces in the third quarter. Haile’s YTD production was 67% higher than the corresponding period in 2020 due to increased head grade as expected and operational improvements. Third quarter production was slightly lower than the previous quarter; however, a positive reconciliation led to better than planned production for the quarter. Haile’s YTD AISC was $1,028 per ounce and cash costs of $653 per ounce on gold sales of 148,529 ounces. Third quarter AISC and cash costs were $1,208 per ounce and $581 per ounce on gold sales of 44,013 ounces. In New Zealand, Macraes delivered YTD gold production of 92,902 ounces, with lower-than-expected gold production of 25,720 ounces in the third quarter. YTD 2021 gold production was approximately 9% lower than YTD 2020 due to geotechnical challenges at Coronation North leading to reduced mining rates in higher grade ore zones and extended downtime related to planned and unplanned process plant maintenance leading to decreased throughputs. Third quarter production was 21% lower than in the second quarter mainly related to the two-week nationwide lockdown and subsequent slower than expected ramp-up of operations. Macraes’ YTD AISC was $1,468 per ounce sold while third quarter AISC was $1,573 per ounce sold. The Waihi operation produced 7,547 ounces of gold in the third quarter, and 15,823 ounces YTD. The YTD production was approximately 30% higher due to ongoing ramp-up of Martha Underground. Third quarter production increased quarter-on-quarter following the completion of plant upgrade works in the second quarter. The quarter-on-quarter increase was partially offset by the two-week nationwide lockdown and slower than expected subsequent ramp-up of operations. Waihi’s YTD AISC was $1,589 per ounce while third quarter AISC was $2,072 per ounce sold. Financial YTD 2021 revenue was $536.1 million, a 62% increase over the corresponding period in 2020 related to higher sales from Haile and Waihi and sales related to Didipio following the renewal of the FTAA in mid-July and a higher average gold price received. Third quarter revenue of $204.6 million was 12% higher quarter-on-quarter related to Didipio gold and copper sales, partially offset by decreased sales from Haile and Macraes and lower average gold price received. Adjusted EBITDA (excluding idle capacity costs related to Didipio carrying costs) for YTD 2021 was $259.2 million, reflecting a 173% increase year-on-year. Third quarter adjusted EBITDA was $97.3 million, 2% above the previous quarter in line with higher gold and copper sales. YTD 2021 adjusted net profit was $111.7 million or $0.16 per share, compared with an adjusted loss of $40.5 million over YTD 2020 related to higher revenue from increased sales at Didipio and Haile and a higher average gold price received. Third quarter adjusted net profit was $53.0 million, or $0.07 per share, which was significantly above the comparative quarters. Cash flows from operating activities were $152.4 million for the YTD including $69.0 million in the third quarter, which was 9% and 92% above the prior September and June quarters respectively. Relative to EBITDA, operating cash flow offset by physical settlements of the gold prepayment arrangement whereby 8,889 ounces valued at $17.1 million were delivered in the third quarter. A total of 40,000 ounces valued at $76.7 million were physically delivered for the YTD. The Company has no further physical deliveries due or other hedging arrangement in place. Cash flows used in investing activities totalled $236.0 million in the YTD, which was 45% above the prior year driven by higher growth capital investments at Haile related to the expansion of waste storage facilities, the Golden Point Underground development at Macraes, and the ongoing development of Martha Underground at Waihi. Fully diluted cash flow per share before working capital movements and exclusive of gold prepayments was $0.12 in the third quarter and $0.34 for the YTD. During the third quarter the Company drew down $50 million of debt under its revolving credit facilities and established an additional short-term working capital facility of $30 million. As at September 30, 2021 the Company’s revolving credit facilities remained drawn to $250 million with $30 million undrawn. At the end of the third quarter, the Company had available liquidity of $143.2 million including $113.2 million in cash. The Company’s net debt position was $256.5 million, an increase from the previous quarter of $224.8 million as increased capital expenditures were partially offset by higher sales. Consolidated capital expenditure in the third quarter of 2021 was $91.2 million, a slight decrease quarter-onquarter, primarily lower growth capital invested partially offset by higher pre-stripping capital. YTD capital expenditures of $255.4 million increased 30% over the prior year, reflecting capital investments related to increased pre-stripping capital at Haile and Macraes, and growth capital associated with the Haile expansion, Golden Point Underground at Macraes and the ongoing development of Martha Underground at Waihi. Third quarter capital expenditure of $55.5 million at Haile was primarily related to the ongoing expansion of mining operations, including construction of the third tailings storage facility wall lift and heavy earthworks related to the 7 construction of potentially acid generating (“PAG”) waste storage facilities. Pre-stripping capital at Haile is tracking higher than originally guided, reflecting a higher allocation of mining costs to capital expenditure than previously forecast. Haile pre-stripping capital for 2021 is now expected to range between $65 and $70 million. As this is a reclassification from cash costs, there is no change in total mining costs or AISC as a result. Outlook On a consolidated basis, the Company expects to achieve its full year gold production guidance of 350,000 to 370,000 ounces at an AISC of $1,200 to $1,250 per ounce sold and cash costs of $725 to $775 per ounce sold. The consolidated guidance reflects the changes to the Haile and Waihi guidance ranges and is inclusive of Didipio’s fourth quarter guidance. In the United States at Haile, the stronger than expected production YTD has a resulted in the Company increasing Haile’s full year outlook, whereby production is expected to range between 175,000 and 180,000 ounces of gold compared to 160,000 and 170,000 ounces of gold previously guided. Haile’s 2021 AISC guidance range remains unchanged at $1,100 to $1,150 per gold ounce sold and at a lower cash cost of $650 to $750 per ounce sold. The Haile Technical Review continues to progress with a comprehensive review of mining and processing operations, costs, capital investments and water and waste management including open-pit/underground tradeoff studies. This review is expected to reflect historical and forecast operational data and cost inputs and resequencing of mining activities, with an aim to maximise cash flows over life of mine while incorporating more effective capital allocation. The Company expects an updated mine plan in the first half of 2022, with ongoing implementation of operational changes and value realisation over the next 18 months. The timing of a new mine plan is also dependent on receipt of the SEIS final Record of Decision and associated permits. Based on feedback from regulators, the Company now expects the Record of Decision and related permits to be completed within the first quarter of 2022. These permits relate to the expansion of the operating footprint to accommodate waste stockpiles, increased capacity through the water treatment plant, as well as development of the Haile Underground. Engagement with the US Army Corps of Engineers and South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control is ongoing as the Company responds to inquiries received post release of the Draft SEIS. The Company expects Macraes’ gold production for the full year to range between 138,000 to 143,000 ounces of gold from 135,000 to 145,000 ounces previously, with higher throughput and stronger grades expected in the fourth quarter. Following the two-week New Zealand national lockdown, the ramp-up of operations in September was slower than initially expected. Now into the fourth quarter, Macraes operations are ramping-up to expectations. The Macraes AISC guidance range remains unchanged at 1,300 to 1,350 per ounce sold. The Waihi operation is expected to produce between 30,000 and 35,000 ounces of gold compared to its original 2021 guidance range of 35,000 to 45,000 ounces of gold. The decrease in forecast output is due to resource model updates affecting material planned for the fourth quarter related to grade reconciliation. The Company does not expect this to have a long-term impact on the operation, with resource definition and grade control programmes well advanced. The COVID-19 two-week lockdown compounded the impact by deferring alternate high-grade panels to 2022. The Waihi AISC guidance has been revised to $1,525 to $1,575 per ounce sold. Preparation for the lodgement of a consent application for the Waihi North Project, inclusive of Wharekirauponga (“WKP”) Underground Mine, continued to progress with environmental assessments nearing completion. The Company expects to lodge its formal consenting application inclusive of stakeholder feedback with the regulator in the first half of 2022. The Company continues to advance the technical studies as part of the consenting and Pre-feasibility Study (“PFS”) workstreams. This work is ongoing and supported by resource conversion drilling at WKP. Although the PFS is contemplated for completion in the first half of 2022, the Company may increase the scope of the work and expand drilling efforts to further enhance the project value proposition. The impact on the timing of such work is being considered and could result in extending the date of completion of the study. In the Philippines, the Company will continue to advance restart and ramp-up activities while managing the ongoing risks associated with COVID-19. For the fourth quarter, Didipio is now expected to produce between 7,000 and 12,000 ounces of gold (previously 5,000 to 10,000 ounces of gold) and 1,000 tonnes of copper with the range reflecting the ongoing risks noted. For the full year, Didipio gold sales are expected to range between 25,000 and 30,000 ounces while copper sales are expected to range between 4,500 and 5,000 tonnes. 2021 AISC is now expected to be between $100 and $150 per ounce sold while by-product cash costs are expected to range between $25 and $75 per ounce sold with higher copper pricing increasing by-product credits. Full year 2021 sales are expected to range between 25,000 and 30,000 ounces of gold and 4,500 and 5,000 tonnes of copper. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, the Company expects milling at Didipio to commence in mid-November, with ore feed sourced primarily from lower grade stockpiles and supplemented with higher grade underground ore as the underground mining operations ramp-up. Underground mining activities have commenced, one month ahead of schedule and the Company expects first stoping in November, also ahead of schedule.   Article courtesy of OceanaGold 

Mining

Marcelle P. Villegas - October 26, 2021

PH Nickel Industry Association Launched Their SDG Report

October is United Nations Month with its main celebration last 24 October 2021. In response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), the Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) launched their first sustainability report to highlight the industry’s contribution and impact to local communities for 2020. They presented their report via a Zoom media launch last 20 October 2021. This online event is the 4th episode of the Nickel Initiative Webinar Series. The sustainability report is titled “Global Goals, Local Action – Sustainability as our way of life in nickel mining”. From PNIA’s press release, “The report underscores the industry’s social and economic contributions in the country consistent with the UN SDG global policy goals which are policy framework aimed at achieving sustainable living for current and future generations.” PNIA is a non-stock, non-profit association that was established in 2012. PNIA was organised “to be the single voice of the industry in championing and positioning the nickel development sector as a globally-competitive and responsible driver of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the Philippines”. PNIA is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. October is United Nations Month with its main celebration last 24 October 2021. In response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), the Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) launched their first sustainability report to highlight the industry’s contribution and impact to local communities for 2020. They presented their report via a Zoom media launch last 20 October 2021. This online event is the 4th episode of the Nickel Initiative Webinar Series. The sustainability report is titled “Global Goals, Local Action – Sustainability as our way of life in nickel mining”. From PNIA’s press release, “The report underscores the industry’s social and economic contributions in the country consistent with the UN SDG global policy goals which are policy framework aimed at achieving sustainable living for current and future generations.” PNIA is a non-stock, non-profit association that was established in 2012. PNIA was organised “to be the single voice of the industry in championing and positioning the nickel development sector as a globally-competitive and responsible driver of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the Philippines”. PNIA is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mining

Philippine Resources - October 19, 2021

TVI Pacific's 30.66% owned TVIRD Balabag Gold and Silver Project Completes Second Doré Shipment

TVI Pacific Inc. is pleased to announce the completion of a second shipment of gold doré from the Balabag gold and silver project. Balabag is owned 100% by TVI Resource Development Phils., Inc. a Philippines corporation in which TVI holds a 30.66% interest, and is located in Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines.  Continuing Gold Production at Balabag Gold-Silver Project : Further to the announcement of September 30th, 2021, in which the Company announced the first shipment of gold doré from Balabag and reported various operating statistics, TVIRD has further confirmed that Balabag mill plant availability month-to-date has been 85% and that it is currently processing at a month-to-date average rate of 1,064 tpd.  The second shipment in the amount of 894 kg of gold doré has been delivered to the designated refinery and contains 641 ounces of Au and 27,552 ounces of Ag for 992 gold equivalent ounces.  Gross proceeds from the second shipment are US $1.8 million.  The second shipment of gold doré follows the completion of the first shipment on September 30, 2021.  Activities at site continue to be concentrated on optimizing the operation and the ramping-up of throughput to 2,000 tpd.  The average head grade month-to-date has been 1.8 g/t Au and 95.1 g/t Ag while the average recoveries month-to-date have been 93% for Au and 86% for Ag. The run of mine ("ROM") mineralized stockpile, in-pit stockpile and crushed mineralized stockpile currently contains an approximate 100,000 tonnes of mineralized material, much of which is low to marginal grade and continues to be mined to expose the higher-grade mineralized resource during waste stripping and bench forming.  The stockpiles have an average grade of 1.3 g/t Au and 47.7 g/t Ag.  It is expected that the average grade of feed will increase as higher-grade mineralized resource is mined.  Ongoing exploration drilling is continuing at Balabag with TVIRD having completed to date twenty-six (26) drillholes for a total meterage of 3,720 meters in its Phase 5B drilling program.  A total of twenty-eight (28) holes are expected to be drilled with an estimated meterage of 4,200 meters.  The Phase 5B drilling program together with assays and reporting is currently expected to be completed in Q4 2021. "We are pleased with the progress at Balabag having now completed the second shipment of gold doré within days of the first shipment being delivered to the designated refinery.  Our focus continues to be to further ramp-up throughput as we continue to optimize the process but in general the equipment is working well", said Mr. Cliff James, Chairman and CEO of TVI and Chairman of TVIRD, "We look forward also to our soon being able to share with all stakeholders the results of Phase 5B drilling as TVIRD continues to pursue its growth strategy with ongoing drilling at Balabag."

Mining

Philippine Resources - October 07, 2021

Mining Community is Ecstatic as TVIRD Brings Operations On-stream in Bayog

Photo credit: TVIRD - TVIRD’s field office and processing plant sit at the crest of Balabag Hill – which provides a good vantage point for monitoring its mining operations and progressive rehabilitation as well as a proper slope for directing effluents to its tailings storage and impoundment facility down below. Mining stakeholders of this town are jubilant that TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) finally commenced its commercial mining operations in Sitio Balabag.  Subanen tribal leaders as well as local government officials are likewise optimistic that with this development, people in the region will surely benefit from the increased economic activity in downstream industries. The news also brought a smile to the 78-year old tribal leader, Timuay Casiano Edal – a member of the Subanen tribal council called Pigsalabukan Gokum de Bayog (PGB) and one of the signatories of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by the tribe and TVIRD.  The MOA enumerates the duties and responsibilities of the two parties as the company utilizes the Subanen ancestral lands and harnesses its resources. “After many years of waiting, finally TVIRD is operational.  I never thought I would still witness its mining operations,” the chieftain told TVIRD Community Relations Officer Lope Dizon.  Edal was among the many Subanens who warmly welcomed the company’s geologists assigned to explore Balabag some 20 years ago. “He has a heart for his tribesmen.  Because of this, Edal believes that tribal leaders can now implement the development plans embodied in their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP), which was approved by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP),” added Dizon. The government’s partner Bayog Mayor Celso A. Matias is also confident that his constituents will enjoy more benefits now that the company is operational.  In a recent TV interview, the mayor discussed the economic impact of mining on his town and commended the company for providing employment to his constituents. In that interview, the mayor also applauded TVIRD for supporting local businesses and its implementation of development projects through its Social Development Management Plan or SDMP. “Namalit sila sa mga lokal nga produkto dinhi sa Bayog. Sa karne lang, daku nga volume ang ilang ginapalit nga usahay ma-‘short’ na gani ang mga supplier (They are buying their essentials here. They are ordering a large volume of local meat that may sometimes result to shortage of the product from its supplier),” he said. The mayor who once visited TVIRD’s first project in Sitio Canatuan, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte is hopeful that Bayog can also be elevated from being a third-class municipality to first-class status due to the company’s local taxes remittances – this, in addition to its tax contribution into the national government. Mayor Matias is referring to the excise taxes paid by mining companies to the national government in which the host province, municipality and barangay will have a predetermined share of the tax as mandated by the Mining Act of 1995. During its gold-silver and copper-zinc projects in Canatuan, TVIRD paid a total of Php395.2 million in excise tax to the national government.  Records from TVIRD’s Finance Department also show that the company paid a total of Php38.9 million to Siocon town for its business permit from 2004 to 2018 while another Php18.7 million was paid for its real property tax. Meantime, TVIRD invested some Php173.4 million in its SDMP and Php264-million in royalties to the Subanen tribe during its 10-year run in Canatuan. To spark hope Seeing him at work, one can say that Antonio Malco, Jr. is happy and content in working for TVIRD.  Malco, Jr. 38, is a resident of Bayog and father of a teenage son who is already in high school.  He is a crane operator and has been with the company for two years now. “During this pandemic, when many are hungry and hopeless because of joblessness, I can say that I am blessed to have this job.  My family is assured of food on our table and other basic needs,” he said. Welder Ariel Arado, 36, likewise shared that he is happy to be back in TVIRD.  He said he likes working for the company since it looks after the welfare of its employees.  “Happy ako sa trabaho ko (I am happy with my job).” Arado was a member of the Special Civilian Active Auxiliary (SCAA) that helped secure the company’s assets in 2005 and was also part of the exploration team in 2007 until 2008.  Malco and Arado are two of over 750 people working in TVIRD Balabag. Hiring locals TVIRD’s 4,779-hectare Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) area spans the three provinces of the Zamboanga Peninsula.  Nearly half of its workers are residents of Bayog, an agricultural town.  Meantime, eligible candidates from neighboring Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte and other provinces are appointed to technical positions. The company likewise honors its agreement to provide employment for eligible Subanens.  Some 13% of its workforce are Subanens – a development lauded by Timuay Lucenio Manda of the PGB and who leads the collective Subanen tribe along with Edal. TVIRD Balabag Project Manager Jun Gingo said that the company is currently operating at a capacity of 1,000 tons per day and has completed its first shipment of gold doré in the amount of 855 kg containing 932 ounces of gold and 25,959 ounces of silver. With the Balabag plant and mining activities operating twenty-four hours per day, Gingo draws confidence from the collective experience of its workers and the capability of the newly-installed mill plant – which will enable TVIRD to ramp-up operations to double the current capacity.   Article courtesy of TVIRD

Mining

Philippine Resources - October 01, 2021

TVIRD Balabag Gold and Silver Project Achieves First Gold Production

TVI Pacific Inc. is pleased to announce that gold production has commenced at the Balabag gold and silver project ("Balabag"). Balabag is owned 100% by TVI Resource Development Phils., Inc. ("TVIRD"), a Philippines corporation in which TVI holds a 30.66% interest, and is located in Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines.    First Gold Production at Balabag Gold-Silver Project : TVIRD has confirmed that Balabag mill plant availability month-to-date has been 90% and that it is currently processing at a month-to-date average rate of 936 tpd.  The first shipment in the amount of 855 kilograms ("kg") of gold doré has been delivered to the designated refinery and contains 932 ounces of Au and 25,959 ounces of Ag for 1,263 gold equivalent ounces.  Gross proceeds from the first shipment are US $2.2 million.  Activities at site continue to be concentrated on optimizing the operation and the ramping-up of throughput to 2,000 tpd.  The average head grade month-to-date has been 1.6 g/t Au and 79.0 g/t Ag while the average recoveries month-to-date have been 95% for Au and 86% for Ag. The plant is currently being fed from the run of mine ("ROM") mineralized stockpile.  An approximate 86,500 tonnes of mineralized material is now on the ROM mineralized stockpile, in-pit stockpile and crushed mineralized stockpile, much of which is low to marginal grade and was mined to expose the higher-grade mineralized resource during waste stripping and bench forming.  The stockpiles have an average grade of 1.1 g/t gold and 39.7 g/t silver.  It is expected that the average grade of feed will increase in the coming weeks as higher-grade mineralized resource is mined.  Twenty-four-hour operation of the plant was introduced in late August. TVIRD is continuing to pursue its growth strategy with ongoing exploration drilling at Balabag.  As announced in the Company's news release of August 4, 2021, five (5) drill rigs are actively working through TVIRD's Phase 5B drilling program through which twenty-seven (27) holes are expected to be drilled with an estimated meterage of 4,155 meters.  The Phase 5B drilling program together with assays and reporting is currently expected to be completed in Q4 2021. "We are proud of the Balabag project and operating teams for completing construction activities through a global pandemic and achieving a successful ramp-up to first gold pour and shipment.  I want to take this opportunity to commend our team's commitment and hard work in achieving this major growth milestone for both TVIRD and TVI Pacific", said Mr. Cliff James, Chairman and CEO of TVI and Chairman of TVIRD, "This is the culmination of a long journey that started many years ago that has faced many challenges but the determination of our team to bring Balabag to reality has endured and has now created the potential to generate significant benefit for all stakeholders.  We are happy to share notice of this achievement with our shareholders." 

Mining

Philippine Resources - September 20, 2021

OCEANAGOLD PROVIDES OPERATIONS UPDATE INCLUDING DIDIPIO RESTART

Photo credit: OceanaGold Scott Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chief Executive Officer of OceanaGold said, “The recommencement of Didipio operations is progressing ahead of plan. The recruitment of the workforce is ahead of schedule as we expect approximately 65% of the total workforce to be in place by the end of the third quarter and approximately 90% by the end of the year. Training of the workforce is progressing well ahead of the restart of processing and mining activities expected in the fourth quarter. The health and safety of our employees and local communities is paramount and we continue to manage the ongoing risks and personnel impacts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.” He went on to say, “During August, we successfully exported and sold the remaining gold Doré, while also commencing the transport of gold-copper concentrate inventory stored on site. As at September 10, approximately 6,000 dry metric tonnes of the total concentrate in inventory has been delivered to port ahead of shipping. The Company expects approximately 80% of the concentrate to be transported to the port by the end of the third quarter and entirely transported by mid-October.” The gold-copper concentrate inventory totalled approximately 15,000 dry metric tonnes, which contains approximately 18,500 ounces of gold and 3,500 tonnes of copper. Additionally, the Company had nearly 1,100 ounces of gold in Doré, which has been sold in the third quarter. To-date the Company has invoiced approximately $25 million in net concentrate sales. The Company expects to have completed the transport and sale of all concentrate inventory by mid-October and to have collected 90% of the invoiced value progressively over a similar time frame. The final 10% is payable on delivery of concentrate to the customers smelter based on final assay. Transportation of supplies and equipment to the Didipio Mine site have progressed well. Process plant recommissioning is over one-third complete with restart activities including but not limited to installation of a new ball mill motor, ongoing recommissioning of the crusher, recharge of grinding media and testing and commissioning of plant instrumentation and pumping equipment. The Company expects the restart of milling on stockpiled ore by the middle of November. The Didipio operation currently has approximately 23 million tonnes of stockpiled ore grading at 0.33 g/t gold and 0.3% copper. Upon restart of underground mining operations, mill feed will be progressively supplemented by higher grade underground ore. Underground mining restart activities include the rehiring and training of underground operators is progressing to plan. The Company has completed initial rehabilitation of ore drives, geotechnical inspections, installation and testing of ventilation infrastructure and technical plans. Ore development is expected by the end of October while stoping is scheduled for the end of November. The Company is expecting to ramp-up to the full underground production rate of 1.6 million tonnes per annum within ten months The capital expenditure associated with the restart of operations is expected to range between $5 to $7 million for the remainder of the year. This expenditure will be funded through the net proceeds associated with the sale of the gold-copper concentrate in 2021. For the remainder of 2021, the Company expects to produce between 5,000 and 10,000 ounces of gold along with approximately 1,000 tonnes of copper. The Company expects Didipio gold sales for 2021 to range between 23,000 and 28,000 ounces of gold and between 3,500 and 4,500 tonnes of copper. Didipio All-In Sustaining Costs are expected to range between $300 and $400 per ounce sold with cash costs of $200 to $300 per ounce sold. At full operations, the Didipio mine is expected to produce approximately 10,000 ounces of gold and 1,000 tonnes of copper per month. The Company is working in partnership with the local municipal health office to support vaccination efforts, including sourcing additional vaccines for the Didipio workforce and surrounding communities. Social development projects have also re-commenced for Didipio’s beneficiary communities, which includes COVID-19 relief efforts as well as significant investment in programs that improve health, education, infrastructure, and capacity building within the local and adjacent communities. The successful and uninterrupted restart of Didipio reflects strong endorsement from both the community and National Government. Didipio is a meaningful socio-economic contributor to Barangay of Didipio, adjacent communities and provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino, and the region. The Company looks forward to continuing its legacy of responsible mining in the Philippines and contributing to the post COVID-19 economy. Macraes 2021 guidance is revised to 135,000 to 145,000 gold ounces at an AISC of $1,300 to $1,350 and a cash cost of $900 to $950 per ounce sold. The change is due to the production impact of the fifteen-day New Zealand wide level 4 COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent ramp-up, combined with the management of ongoing geotechnical risk limiting the operations ability to fully access higher grade zones as planned later in 2021. Waihi operations were also suspended for fifteen-days in accordance with New Zealand’s level 4 COVID-19 restrictions. As previously advised, operations resumed following the easing of restrictions with the impact of the suspension on 2021 production of approximately 5,000 ounces. With the site mine constrained, the reduction is driven by lower 2021 ore production with the deferred ore zones being higher grade. Waihi is now tracking toward the lower end of its production guidance range of 35,000 to 45,000 gold ounces at an AISC of $1,300 to $1,350 and a cash cost of $900 to $950 per ounce sold. The Company, however remains focussed on identifying potential opportunities to partially offset the impact over the balance of 2021. At Haile, the Company continues to advance technical reviews and focus on mine and mill productivity and operating cost improvements. Recent operational performance continues to comfortably track to full year guidance of 160,000 to 170,000 ounces of gold at an AISC of $1,100 to $1,150 per ounce sold and a cash cost of $850 to $900 per ounce sold. Development of the Haile Underground is expected to commence following completion of the Supplementary Environment Impact Statement process. On a consolidated basis, after the inclusion of Didipio, the Company continues to expect full year production to be 350,000 to 370,000 gold ounces at an AISC of $1,200 to $1,250 and cash costs of $825 to $875 per ounce sold. With the inclusion of Doré and concentrate inventory sales from Didipio, consolidated gold ounces sold for 2021 are expected to be approximately 20,000 ounces higher than production.   Article courtesy of OceanaGold

Mining

Philippine Resources - September 20, 2021

Global nickel production to recover by 6.8% in 2021, supported by Indonesia and the Philippines, says GlobalData

Photo credit: GlobalData Global nickel mine production is expected to grow by 6.8% to reach 2,427.4 thousand tonnes (kt) in 2021, after registering an estimated 4.2% decline to 2,272kt in 2020, owing to COVID-19-related lockdowns and restrictions, says GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company notes that output from Indonesia (+16.3%), the Philippines (+5.1%) and Brazil (+24%) will be significant contributors to the overall growth this year. In contrast, production is expected to decline in Russia (-13.8%), and South Africa (-15.8%). Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, comments: “Combined production from Indonesia, the Philippines and Brazil is expected to increase from a collective 1,160kt in 2020 to 1,316.8kt in 2021 – an increase of 13.5%. The increase in production will be supported by the expansion of Indonesia’s nickel industry, the resumption of production at various mines in the Philippines and the ramp up at the Santa Rita mine in Brazil, which was previously halted in 2015. “Overall, Indonesia and the Philippines will remain as the largest sources of nickel globally. Together with Russia, New Caledonia and Australia, these five countries account for almost three-quarters of the global total.” Looking ahead, nickel production over the forecast period is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3%, to reach 2,730.6kt in 2025. Indonesia, Russia, Canada and the Philippines will be the key contributors to this growth. Combined production in these countries is expected to increase from a forecasted 1,607kt in 2021 to 1,818.4kt in 2025. Bajaj continues: “Projects with potential to commence operations during the forecast period include the Araguaia Nickel project in Brazil, which is wholly owned by Horizonte Minerals, and is currently awaiting a final investment decision (FID). The US$402.1m project will have an annual nickel production capacity of 14.5kt and is expected to commence operations in 2022. During early 2021, the project’s infrastructure including the award of construction licences for the transmission line and the water pipeline were approved by the company. Tenders for the supply of key equipment and services have been completed for approximately US$230m.” The Aquila Nickel project in Indonesia, which is wholly owned by Solway Investment Group, has obtained its regulatory approvals and permissions. The US$57m project will have an annual nickel production capacity of 16.6kt and is expected to commence operations in 2023.   Article courtesy of GlobalData

Mining

Philippine Resources - September 07, 2021

METALLIC PRODUCTION VALUE ADVANCES BY 24.50% IN H1 2021

 Metallic mineral production value advanced by 24.50% or PHP13.50 billion in H1 2021 from PhP55.13 billion to PhP68.63 billion, year-on-year. The telling factor for this sterling performance was the continued strong metal prices during the period. Prices of base metals, copper, and nickel grew by 65% and 40%, respectively. Likewise precious metals, gold, and silver went up by 10% and 59%, respectively. In terms of contribution to the metallic production value, nickel together with its nickel products accounted for 53.44% or PhP36.68 billion followed by gold with 34.84% or PhP23.91 billion. Copper took the third spot at PhP7.46 billion or 10.87% while the collective values of silver, iron ore, and chromite were less than 1% or PhP0.58 billion. Having bullish nickel metal price as its backdrop in H1 2021 nickel together with its nickel products continued to rule the production scene contributing more than 53% of the country’s production value from PhP25.17 billion to PhP36.68 billion year-on-year, a growth of almost PhP11.51 billion or 46%. Breaking it down further, nickel direct shipping ore accounted for 58% or PhP21.42 billion while mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide tendered 41% or PhP15.07 billion. Scandium oxalate came up with less than 1% or PhP0.19 billion. Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation (THPAL) produces both mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide and scandium oxalate. While Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) only produces mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide. Nickel ore production volume and value went up by 39% and 98% from 109,471 metric tons with an estimated value of PhP10.79 billion to 151,646 metric tons with an estimated value of PhP21.42 billion. Prices of nickel are at their sweetest at US$17,490.15 per metric ton from US$12,473.17 per metric ton, year-on-year, a considerable price difference of US$5,017 per metric ton. The top three producers for the first half were Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) with 28,935 metric tons followed by Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) with 25,301 metric tons; and Platinum Group Metals Corporation with 12,977 metric tons. TMC and RTNMC supply all the low-grade limonite ore feed requirements of THPAL and CBNC plants, respectively. The limonite ores delivered to THPAL and CBNC were included in the total ore production of TMC and RTNMC. In terms of production by Province, Surigao del Norte led with 51,162 metric tons, followed by Palawan with 39,190 metric tons, Surigao del Sur took the third spot with 21,060 metric tons. While Zambales accounted for 16,757 metric tons closely followed by Agusan del Norte with 16,530 metric tons and Dinagat Island with 6,946 metric tons. Out of the 28 listed operating nickel projects, only 19 reported productions, nine or 32% were with zero production. Production volume and value of the yellow metal was up by 3% and 8% from 8,257 kilograms with an estimated value of PhP22.15 billion to 8,545 kilograms with an estimated value of PhP23.91 billion. The top three seeds were Philippines Gold Processing and Refining Corporation (PGPRC) in Masbate with 3,558 kilograms with an estimated value of PhP9.98 billion followed by Mindanao Mineral Processing and Refining Corporation in Agusan del Sur with 1,268 kilograms with an estimated value of PhP3.55 billion and FCF Minerals in Nueva Vizcaya with 1,090 kilograms with an estimated value of PhP3.05 billion. The price of gold was impressive at US$1,808.59 per troy ounce in contrast with last year’s H1 average price of US$1,647.59 per troy ounce, up by US$161 per troy ounce. Conversely, the performance of the red metal was diverse with copper production volume going down from 31,030 metric tons to 23,557 metric tons year-on-year, a difference of 24%. The production value, however, grew by 4% from PhP7.19 billion to PhP7.46 billion. The PhP0.27 billion surge was courtesy of the upbeat price of copper during the period from US$5,496.36 per metric ton in 2020 to US$9,094.61 per metric ton in 2021, a substantial US$3,598 increase. The positive price was partly due to supply disruptions in major producing countries like Peru and Chile. Currently, the country has only two copper producers, Carmen Copper Corporation in Cebu accounted for 75% or 17,568 metric tons with an estimated value of PhP4.77 billion while Philex Mining Corporation in Benguet accounted for 25% or 5,989 metric tons with an estimated value of PhP2.69 billion. For silver, production volume decline by 6% or 723 kilograms from 11,793 kilograms to 11,069 kilograms year-on-year. Production value, though, grew by 46% or PhP0.14 billion from PhP0.31 billion to PhP0.45 billion year-on-year. Apex Mining Company, Inc. in Davao de Oro retains its dominance accounting for 47% or 5,164 kilograms while in far second was PGPRC in Masbate with 20% or 2,189 kilograms. During the period, eight mining projects recorded silver production. More than the robust metal price, recent developments in the local minerals industry are anticipated to be game-changers in the overall performance of the industry in the coming years not only in terms of mine ore production but also in its economic contribution. By this we mean employment generation, increase revenue collection both at the local and national level, and improved quality of life of the host and neighboring communities. Latest developments include the re-entry of Didipio Copper-Gold Project of OceanaGold (Phils) Inc. (OGPI) in Nueva Vizcaya to the production stream; and the issuance of Executive Order (E0) No. 130 and together with its Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR). The renewal of the application of OGPI was approved last 14 July 2021. This is projected to boost/augment local copper, gold, and silver mine production. It is worth noting that from 2014-2018, the annual production average of the Project for gold was 4,191 kilograms with an estimated value of PhP7.95 billion while for copper about 20,493 metric tons with an estimated value of PhP5.83 billion. More or less this was the foregone production volume and value in CY 2020 when OGPI recorded no production while awaiting the renewal of its Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement. Consequently, forgone production meant lower or no revenue collection by the national and local government during the period. In addition, this also resulted in fewer economic activities in the host and neighboring communities. Another positive development is the issuance of EO No. 130 together with its IRR. This EO amended Section 4 of EO No. 79 of 2012 wherein the Government may now enter into new mineral agreements, subject to compliance with the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations. It is notable that of the 30 million total land area of the Philippines, the data of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau shows that only about 2.55% or 763,899.7538 hectares is covered by mining tenements and said the area is still subject to the mandatory relinquishment by contractors provided by law. Breaking it down further, of the 9 million hectares identified as having high mineral potential only 8.49% is covered by mining tenement. This significantly means that 91.51% of the land area identified with high mineral potential remains to be untapped. On the international scene, a lot of things are going on that may affect the growth of the local minerals industry. The COVID-19 pandemic is still very much on the scene affecting mining operations worldwide, even major players were not spared. While it is true that at a certain point the disruption in mining operations has pushed metal prices to impressive heights as a result of lower production vis-à-vis increasing demand. The unrelenting COVID-19 virus which put the health of people still at risk despite the availability of vaccines has now curtailed economic activities worldwide. Reduced economic activities would mean the demand for industrial metals like copper, iron ore, nickel, and among others being utilized by the steel, construction and other downstream industries to decline. Mineral analysts are also projecting, demand cutback from China, for this metals. China is the country’s major trading partner when it comes to its mineral ores. On the other hand, still on the growing concerns of the COVID-19 virus gold price is still expected to be strong given its safe-haven appeal to investors during these uncertain times.

Mining

Abe Almirol - August 23, 2021

Safe and Clean Mining: Can Artisanal Miners Survive Regulation?

​ Making good its promise to take drastic action against illegal settlers in the mineral-rich Barangay Runruno in the town of Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has led an operation leading to the dismantling and confiscation of illegally operating ball-mills, a device used by traditional miners to process gold ore. “The operation came in as a surprise. Even the members of the local media took days to find out,” says Leander Domingo of Manila Times, who rushed to the scene with local journalists and Philippine Information Agency staff stationed in Bayombong. It was only when social media posts began spreading that houses are allegedly being demolished in Runruno in the last days of July 2021 that newsmen learned about the operation. The MGB involved the National Bureau of Investigation, the Philippine National Police, and the Philippine Army to assist them. Cagayan Valley Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of DENR was quick to dispel the rumour, citing that it is only the illegal ball-mills that were dismantled during the operation. “These areas were classified as high-risk geo-hazard zones, so we are encouraging them to vacate the area. If needed, we will file appropriate charges just to enforce the law,” she said. In violation of Presidential Decree 705, 32 lawsuits were filed by the DENR against those occupying the prohibited zones, most of them are operators and workers who owned the confiscated illegal gold mining and processing equipment. The sub-villages of Bit-ang and Balcony in Runruno have long history of unreported deaths due to landslides and caving-in of make-shift tunnels. “Although there was no official confirmation, reports of deaths due to cave-ins and premature explosions as well as the use of deadly chemicals from small scale mining operations have been taking place in these villages,” a 2011 news report of the Philippine Star reads. In November last year, Typhoon Ulysses brought the largest number of casualties in a single incident. The reported death of 10 people at the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses alarmed authorities, and even Malacañang Palace issued an order creating the Build Back Better Task Force. ILLEGAL MINING BUSTED. Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of DENR Cagayan Valley (in green shirt) personally inspected the dismantled and confiscated gold processing equipment in Barangay Runruno, Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya. Regional Director Mario Ancheta of the MGB (in blue shirt), PENRO Edgar Martin (second from left, front row) and CENRO Giovanni Magat (extreme left, front row) joined in the inspection. (Photo Credits: Benjamin Moses Ebreo, PIA Nueva Vizcaya) The ‘Minahang Bayan’ as a National Strategy DENR has long advised that there are legal ways for traditional artisanal miners to benefit from the country’s mineral resources. “We can find appropriate places to establish a Minahang Bayan, just approach the MGB. You can look for Director Mario Ancheta,” she told Runruno residents in a video-taped interview with the Philippine Information Agency. Last May, DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that creating Minahang Bayan sites will generate more jobs in the countryside and fuel economic growth. Republic Act 7076 established the people’s small-scale mining program. It seeks to achieve an orderly, systematic, and rational scheme for the small-scale development and utilization of mineral resources. According to RA 7076, small-scale mining “refers to mining activities which rely heavily on manual labour using simple implements and methods and do not use explosives or heavy mining equipment.” DENR Assistant Secretary Nonita Caguioa, however, clarified that small-scale mining is applicable to gold, silver, and chromite only, and cited a restriction on extracting metallic minerals. The Minahang Bayan is the only area where small-scale miners can operate legally according to the law. In this way, government can better monitor and regulate extractive activities.  The safety of the mine workers, protection of the environment, and generation revenues for the government could be tracked along this set-up. “It is difficult to monitor small-scale miners if they are operating outside Minahang Bayan areas,” MGB Small-Scale Mining Development Section chief Joel Natividad. As of May 2021, there are 39 operating Minahang Bayan in the country, almost twice more than the 20 recorded in 2018. MGB has targeted 150 Minahang Bayan to be established by 2022. “Our crackdown on illegal miners continues as we also put up more Minahang Bayan areas. This is to ensure that mining will be concentrated in one area where the DENR can regulate and monitor small-scale operations,” Leones said. Emerging Clean Mining Technology In the Philippines, Executive Order 79 series of 2012 has already prohibited the use of mercury in small-scale mining, yet almost all artisanal miners continue to use it. Since 2019, MGB Acting Director Wilfredo Moncano has been collaborating with a Global Environment Facility-funded USD11.70-million project to help eliminate the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining sectors in the country and Mongolia. The long-awaited substitute for mercury and cyanide finally came out very recently. Clean Earth Technologies now owns a technology that was tested at Barrick Goldstrike mine by CSIRO. This technology is being expanded to cover other types of ore. Last 18 June 2021, Kevin Fell, Executive Director and CEO of Clean Mining Technologies made a presentation before a webinar with the Philippine Mining Club. His strategy for the Philippine market is founded on favourable environment where the authorities are now embracing more sustainable and environmentally friendly mining processes and opening up to approving licenses that benefit the community and economy. Fell also believes that foreign Investment is now more palatable with stability and governance which assures tenure. As the CML is the “only available genuine, non-toxic solution that meets all the needs of government authorities and mining communities,” Clean Mining Technologies throws its full support and collaboration with Artisanal Gold Council in the creation of community hubs to process gold extracted by artisanal miners, which is basically the same as the Minahang Bayan. “We are very excited about this opportunity which will set world first standards in the artisanal space which accounts for over 25% of the worlds gold production,” said Fell. As to how quick the government and mining stakeholders can put this technology to work is an interesting research subject in the coming years. ​

Mining

Abe Almirol - August 23, 2021

Jobseekers jubilant at Didipio’s re-opening

A month after Australian-Canadian miner OceanaGold Corporation (OGC) announced that the company hurdled a breakthrough after more than two years of operational stand-by in Didipio, jobseekers virtually flocked to the company’s local social media page. Didipio mine is OGC’s major asset in the Philippines located 364 kilometres north of Manila. It is under the Financial and/or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) scheme provided by the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 which was renewed for another 25 years after Pres. Rodrigo Duterte signed the agreement, its effectivity commencing June 19, 2021. The social media page “Didipio Mine” has made its following jump to 18,264 with 17,159 likes after a month when job openings were posted. At least 174 job openings were recently announced. OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI), the company’s local subsidiary and holder of the FTAA, has 141 positions open as announced in various social media posts from July 21 to August 4. Its homegrown contractor, DiCorp, also announced 19 vacancies. SGS Philippines, its assay laboratory contractor, has two jobs open while Delta Earthmoving has 12 vacancies announced recently. The Didipio Mine page has pledged to abide by the Data Privacy Act to assure applicants that any sensitive information they passed to the hiring department will be treated with strict confidentiality. “Didipio Mine employees work on a family-friendly roster schedule (10 days on/5 days off; 14 days on/7 days off; 20 days on/10 days off and 28 days on/14 days off) and working 11- hour shifts.  Meals and accommodations are provided for non Didipio residents in the mine’s camp facilities,” the job offer reads. As new jobs are generated, the government hopes for an economic rebound from the effects of lockdowns last year. Income taxes paid by Didipio mine employees alone has made the Bureau of Internal Revenue district here as a top achiever in terms of collection since 2013. Locals First Policy One of the demands raised by residents when they opted to endorse the first FTAA in 1994 is to have the right to priority employment. As this is easier said than done, OGPI explored many options to abide by this commitment of its predecessor companies. OGPI’s most notable innovation is the creation of DiCorp, a local company established by long-time residents whose lands were affected during the construction of the Didipio mine. Since the mine needs a variety of services such as laundry, housekeeping, food catering and transport, OGPI encouraged those compensated with large sums of money for their lands to invest in DiCorp. DiCorp was established before Didipio mine commenced commercial operation in 2013. It has played a major role in the operation of the mine since then. “Today and onwards, we see a brighter future, better opportunities and hopefully a stronger DiCorp in terms of dedicated, sensible and responsible staff, improved income, and credibility,” said Simplicia D. Ananayo, who was then serving at the Community Relations Office when DiCorp was established 10 years ago. Ananayo has retired after reaching the mandatory age serving at the Community Relations Office of OGPI. She is now part of DiCorp’s top management since she had acquired some of the company stocks when it was established. Hope in Pandemic Times The resumption of Didipio mine’s operation will certainly boost the country’s economic survival amidst pandemic times. As hundreds of companies went broke or were forced to close, and even Filipinos gainfully employed oversees came home, Didipio mine is a good choice of employment. Furthermore, the new FTAA widened the scope of its Social Development Management Plan (SDMP). The company explained that the FTAA was renewed on substantially the same terms and conditions and includes the following modifications: The equivalent of an additional 1.5% of gross revenue to be allocated to community development. Reclassification of Net Smelter Return to be an allowable deduction and shared 60%/40% rather than wholly included in government share. Listing of at least 10% of the common shares in OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (“OGPI”), the Company’s Philippine operating subsidiary and holder of the FTAA, on the Philippine Stock Exchange within the next three years. OGPI shall offer for purchase by the Philippine Central Bank not less than 25% of its annual gold doré production at fair market price and mutually agreed upon terms. Transfer of OGPI’s principal office to a host province within the next two years. “The additional 1.5% allocated to community development will take the form of increased contributions to communities in the region and provincial development projects. While the existing fund for Social Development and Management Program will continue to be provided for the host and neighbouring communities, 1.0% of the additional 1.5% will be allocated to community development for additional communities and 0.5% to the host Provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino,” OGC explained in a press statement. 

Mining

Philippine Resources - August 23, 2021

Ph large-scale mines fight to keep jobs amid pandemic

Photo Credit: Carmen Copper - With its health and safety protocols already in place, Carmen Copper Corporations was able to maintain full operations throughout 2020. While millions of jobs were lost last year across most sectors following the lockdowns put in place to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, employment in the Philippine mining industry remains largely unaffected.  This is due mainly to the resilience of the minerals development sector and the efforts of mining firms to keep their workers employed. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country’s unemployment rate was 8.7% in April 2021, an improvement from the 10.4% posted at the end of 2020 – the highest in 15 years.  In terms of magnitude, the April figures translate to a total of 4.14 million unemployed individuals who are 15 years old and above. The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) estimates the Philippines’ total job losses at 2.1 million in 2020, around 500,000 of which were in construction and another 100,000 in manufacturing, with the steepest decline in employment in the services sector reliant on tourism.  ADB pegs the job losses north of 500,000 in wholesale and retail; 265,000 in accommodation and food; and a drop of about 100,000 jobs in transport, public administration, and other services. Meanwhile, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau says the mining and quarrying sectors even posted a slight increase in employment numbers, from 182,000 in 2019 to 184,000 in 2020.  In April 2021, however, employment in mining and quarrying dropped by 7,000, which can be attributed to the temporary closure of some operations due to local government directives. Nevertheless, this figure is expected to improve particularly in the large-scale metallic sector with the resumption of OceanaGold Phils. Inc.’s Didipio Project operations soon following the renewal of its mining agreement with the Philippine government. Quick response Members of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) – composed primarily of the country’s largest metallic mines –  responded early to the pandemic, enabling them to effectively mitigate the risks of infection within and around their mines.  In Carmen Copper Corporation’s (CCC) mine in Toledo City, Cebu, for instance, the company secured its employees’ livelihood by assuring continued salaries, providing assistance to protect their health, and setting up precautionary measures to reduce infection risks. CCC instituted flexible work arrangements, such as work-from-home options for non-critical employees and accommodations for workers directly involved in the mine and mill operations. The company also provided free service buses for commuting personnel as public transportation was halted during the lockdowns. Health and safety measures were strictly implemented in the workplace such as social distancing and mandatory wearing of personal protective equipment. CCC also conducted regular disinfection and housekeeping of work areas and facilities. CCC followed the “Trace, Test and Treat” strategy in managing the Covid-19 pandemic. The company’s emergency responders and medical teams meticulously traced contacts people exposed to persons positive with Covid-19 and provided regular testing. It also established quarantine areas inside the mine site and provided nutritious meals, vitamins and supplements for workers who have been exposed to positive patients. Thankful CCC’s efforts to secure jobs and keep employees safe are being replicated by COMP member-firms across the country.  These efforts have not gone unnoticed by their workforce.  “During the onset of the pandemic, we did not report for work for 15 days,” recalls Jordan Zamuco, a company driver at Philex Mining Corp.’s Padcal Operations in Tuba, Benguet.  “We were on on-call duty since there were company volunteer programs where our assistance to transport donations to our host and neighboring communities were needed. After 15 days, we were back on track; our work has been continuous since. There were instances when the skeletal workforce arrangement was necessary in our department but we were well compensated. We received our daily salary. What I am most thankful for are the continued benefits from the company that we received without delay.” “I am grateful to this company for continuing to provide benefits for us employees,” says Mine Operations Group manager Benedict Gapongli.  “Despite this situation we are all facing, the company even gave us bonuses and salary increases.” None of Philex Padcal Mine’s nearly 1,900 employees – majority of whom are from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), which posted a 25% unemployment rate at the start of the pandemic – were separated since the start of the pandemic.  Same with the company’s corporate offices in Mandaluyong, where some 80 employees are posted. New Philex Mining Corp. (PMC) HR Senior Supervisor Luzbele Roxas, hired during the pandemic.  PMC is part of the MVP Group of Companies. “In Philex, I can feel how agile the company is in adapting to the pandemic,” shares Human Resources senior supervisor Luzbele Roxas.  “The work-from-home setup and laptop subsidy keep me safe and make me productive at the same time. One of my key functions in HR is recruitment. I’m well equipped to handle challenges in this function with the aid of digital solutions. Moreover, with De Los Santos Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, and other MVP partner medical institutions on my speed dial, I can confidently take care of our existing and prospective employees on their health needs. The work environment here in Philex is family oriented.  Perhaps that’s the reason why we have many long-tenured employees.” “My work during this pandemic period has been most rewarding,” says Keith Conrad Fabros, a shop clerk and tool keeper at Padcal’s Mobile Equipment Department. “I may have additional workload, but I am quite able to cope with it. I am thankful that despite this pandemic, I still have a steady job and my family and I are healthy. The company provides free medical benefits to employees, such as the random swab tests. This makes us and our families protected from the virus.” “There are so many things to be thankful about being part of this wonderful company, of course with the directives and supervision of our beloved president, Mr. Eules Austin,” says Irish Distor of Philex Mining Corp.’s Information Technology Department. “Thank you very much, Sir! Mabuhay po kayo!” “During these difficult times a lot of people lost their jobs. That is why I am most thankful to Philex for ensuring that I keep my job and bring food on the table, and for helping keep our families safe,” says Irish Distor from Philex’s Corporate Office. “We were given the tools we need to do our jobs and the flexibility to work from home. Philex  also showed us how much they care for their employees when we were given flu and Covid-19 vaccines.” Lucky Benguet Corporation (BC), for its part, managed to secure the jobs of 1,433 employees in the company’s head office and various projects. The company’s gold operation in Itogon, Benguet managed to remain open even with the drastic decrease in the attendance of contract miners by 56%. Despite lower production, BC retained its 475 employees in its Baguio Gold Operation and is currently hiring for newly vacant positions. “As the coronavirus continues to rapidly spread across the world, it is causing a considerable degree of anxiety, fear, and concern to all,” says Mark Gallo, Human Resources assistant at BC’s head office.  “Having this in mind, the company has safeguarded the welfare of its employees by providing flexible working hours, shuttle services, regular RT PCR screening tests, vaccines, quarantine facilities, and other safety essentials to protect them from the infection. We are lucky.” The company’s subsidiary, BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Inc (BNMI) greatly contributed to the increase of employment in Sta. Cruz, Zambales when it resumed mining last year. Since October 2020, BNMI contracted additional 704 employees for it nickel mining operation. “Hearing news of unemployment in the country and closing down of many businesses in different industries, makes me realize to be grateful that I still have a secured job I can count on during these trying times to provide for my family,” Gallo adds. Roy Cale and 200 of his fellow workers and contractors at Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) were able to keep their jobs despite the pandemic.  With his job secured, he and his nine teammates in the firm’s Mine Environmental Protection and Enhancement Team aim to produce up to 120,000 seedlings that SMI will then grow, propagate, plant, or distribute to community members in Tampakan, South Cotabato. Roy Cale is one of the nine contractual workers under the Mine Environmental Protection and Enhancement Team (MEPE) of Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI).  As a nursery aide, he brings to life various seedlings that SMI will then grow, propagate, plant or distribute to community members.  This year, Cale and his other teammates aim to produce up to 120,000 seedlings of various tree species. Cale is a resident of Barangay Tablu in Tampakan, South Cotabato. He joined the SMI MEPE Team in 2017 and has since helped produce more than half a million seedlings. During the onset of COVID-19 pandemic last year, Cale was thankful that his workspace is in the great outdoors, making him feel safe from possible workplace infection. Cale was also thankful that, despite job losses that other industries suffered due to lockdowns and economic downturns, SMI immediately activated its crisis management and business continuity plans that allowed him to keep his job. Some 200 other SMI staff and contractors were able to keep their jobs as well. ‘Malasakit’ The pandemic served as an opportunity for Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC) in Quezon, Palawan to assuage its employees that no challenge is too difficult if they focus on their work and on showing their “malasakit” – or concern – for both the company and each other. “Initially we were afraid that we will lose our jobs like what happened in other companies, Jay Dionisio, an artist at BNC’s Safety Department. “We were fetched from our homes by our company and made to stay in the mine to protect us from the virus.  This arrangement allowed us to work unhampered, thus ensuring our income kept coming and our families won’t go hungry.” (Clockwise from top left) Rolando Sajot, Jaypee dela Cruz, Florita Mutas, and Jay Dionisio all showed “malasakit” for Berong Nickel Corp. and fellow employees, which helped the company to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. Rolando Sajot, BNC Safety superintendent, says the strict enforcement of Health Protocols in the mine enabled the company to keep all its 778 employees safe.  “We managed to maintain our Safety Performance Indicator at ‘0’ – meaning there were no recorded accidents from 2019 to December 2020,” he points out.  “We posted 4 million man-hours of no lost time accident, and 25 million man-hours of no fatality since 2007.” “Our efforts to care for and protect the forest and seas continued amid the pandemic,” says BNC Mine Environmental Protection and Enhancement officer Jaypee dela Cruz.  “One of the most important elements of our reforestation initiatives is our Nursery operations, manned by people like Mrs. Florita Mutas who, at 43, still sends seven of her children to school.” “With God’s grace, we were able to continue our work here, which gave me the means to feed and provide for all the needs of my children,” Mutas relates. Happy and Contented While other companies have shut down their businesses due to the pandemic, exploration and community development work in and around TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc.’s (TVIRD) Balabag Project in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur has not stopped, says Julito Bate, a carpenter and father of seven children.  “TVIRD values its workers, especially those who are honest in doing their work.” Marvin Edal, a former illegal small-scale miner in this town, says working with TVIRD is his “dream come true”.  A member of the Subanen tribe, Edal was able to fulfill his wish of serving his community, especially in times of calamity and disaster, as part of the company’s exploration team.  On top of that, he now earns a lot more compared to the meager P20 he received per day in his old back-breaking job of carrying sacks of gold ore to his boss’ makeshift processing plant.  The pandemic has not prevented him from helping his townmates and those in neighboring villages owing to the company’s continued operations.  “My only wish is for TVIRD to start its mining operations soon so we can further spread the benefits of responsible mining,” he says. The chief’s grandson. Despite his lineage, Marvin Edal is described as “warm, approachable and hard-working – one of the best employees of TVIRD’s Community Relations group.”  Photo shows Marvin (in light blue) assisting his grandfather, Timuay Casiano Edal, in managing administrative duties for the Subanen tribe. Edal’s sentiment is shared by Dionel Barut, an Administration assistant and in-charge of TVIRD’s kitchen staff, as well as the purchase of supplies for the kitchen, mess hall, and accommodation facilities in Balabag.  “I like working here because the company takes good care of its employees,” he relates.  “Besides the good pay, much importance is given to our health and safety.” Barut worked once in a 5-star hotel at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig but left and joined TVIRD in 2020.  He has no plans of leaving anytime soon.  “We are happy and contented here, especially whenever we see our fellow workers delighted with the food we serve – and then receive ‘thank-yous’ from them. Makes one forget there is a pandemic wreaking havoc all around,” he adds. Manpower reduction never an option Being in an export-oriented industry, Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMC) continued to operate albeit in a limited capacity and with due observance of the regulations set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF.  Manpower reduction was never an option for the company. Instead, LCMC opted to manage the employees’ earned leave credits not merely as a cost control measure, but more so to conform with the IATF protocols for companies allowed to operate and to help stem the spread of the virus in the work place. “The good thing here is that even with the Covid-19 pandemic, Lepanto didn’t stop operating,” says Mauricio Bangngayon, a Mine Shift Boss at LCMC’s Mankayan, Benguet mine.  A high school undergraduate, Bangngayon left his village in Tanudan, Kalinga 10 years ago and found a job here, initially as a mucker, then as an LHD operator 3 years later, until he was promoted to his current post.  “The company continues to fight, and I am still here,” he stresses.  “The thing I like most is that I am with my family here.  My wife doesn’t need to work abroad because I can provide them a decent living because of my job.” Mauricio Bangngayon (center), flanked by the Uyod brothers Abelard (left) and Samel (right) are thankful that their company, Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co., continues to fight to keep their jobs at the firm’s Mine Division in Mankayan, Benguet. The company put the welfare of its employees above anything else by providing them with the necessary personal protective equipment, vitamin C especially for the frontliners, shuttle services to ferry the employees to work and back home, and disinfectants for offices, to name a few. Lepanto also conducted massive testing for all the mine site employees. Those who tested positive were sent to quarantine facilities with free meals. The Lepanto Hospital continues to give free medical services to all the Lepanto employees and dependents. With Lepanto’s good relationship with the Mankayan Local Government Unit, getting its employees vaccinated was never a problem. Like Bangngayon, Abelard and Samel Uyod, both from Tadian, Mt. Province, found their luck in Lepanto, Mine Division.  Both of them are third generation employees, as their father and grandfather used to work for the company as lead miners.  The Uyod brothers are grateful for the opportunities given to them my LCMC even with their lack of college degrees.  Abelard started working as a security guard in 2001 and eventually became a security officer, because of his dedication and excellent performance being an underground patrol. “My being able to continue working here despite the pandemic is really a great help,” Abelard relates.  “My children are still studying – two of them are now in college – and we need to fund their tuition fees.  We don’t know any other income source that’s why my brother and I are so fortunate that we’re still here.” His older brother Samel started as a mucker in 2004, then became a lead miner, and was promoted to LHD operator, until he bagged the senior surface safety inspector position in 2010. He says: “Our families’ primary source of livelihood – our salaries – wasn’t affected that’s why our standard of living remains steady even with Covid-19 wreaking havoc everywhere.  We are able to withstand the pandemic because we still have our jobs and for that we are most thankful.” Solidarity in the time of Covid-19 Back in Toledo City, Carmen Copper Corporation (CCC) saw recently the signing of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between management and workers.  Of CCC’s 2,365 employees, 1,916 or 81% are rank-and-file employees. President and CEO Roy Deveraturda says the signing is a symbol of solidarity, regardless if you’re a union member, the management, a service provider, or contractor.  A key factor to the swift and peaceful CBA signing is the professionalism shown by the officers of the union, whom he described as "men of integrity and purpose." Carmen Copper Corp. President and CEO Roy Deveraturda (right) shares a light moment with labor union president Herbert Cabaluna during the signing of the new CBA between the firm and its employees. "They know that they also have responsibility because I believe they understand that before the wage earners can receive their share of the fruits of their labor, the wage giver must have the capability to give it to them. I salute the honesty, dedication and professionalism of the union members toward the common good," Deveraturda says. After the first three years, another negotiation will be made to deliberate on the next salary increase for the last two years of the CBA, he adds. “In a scenario wherein the general situation, brought about by the current pandemic, talks of furlough, layoffs and retrenchments from other companies, CCC is talking about salary increases and enhancing the welfare of its employees.". Union president Herbert Cabaluna, who described the CBA signing as a "very important" development, agrees: "Despite the pandemic and its effect to the economy, our CBA managed to increase and improve economic benefits like wages, benefits, allowances, bonus and programs. Aside from economic benefits, the CBA also institutionalized job security and protection of workers' rights." As CCC continues to strive for its goals amid the pandemic, Deveraturda urged all employees to do what they can for the company: "We must all love the company, show your commitment, cooperation and of course, your competence in the performance of your assigned tasks."   Article Courtesy of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines

Mining

Philippine Resources - August 18, 2021

DMCI Mining shipments hit record high in H1

DMCI Mining shipped 1.24 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore from January to June, an all-time high for the company and 45 percent higher compared to the 853,000 MWT shipped during the same period last year. Of the total shipments, 718,000 WMT came from Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC) while Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation (ZDMC) contributed 522,000 WMT. “This is the first time that both our mining assets are operating at full capacity. We expect shipments to remain strong in the second half since we were able to extend Berong’s mine life from June until Q3 this year,” said DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das C. Reyes. Average nickel grade of the shipped nickel dropped from 1.37% to 1.39% while average selling price per metric ton rallied 57 percent from USD28 to USD44 owing to China’s surging stainless steel production, strong demand for electric vehicles and the continuing Indonesian nickel ore export ban. “The uptrend in nickel prices is likely to continue in the coming months because of production-consumption gaps. Major nickel producers are seeing lower output because of COVID-19 lockdowns and various operating issues but industrial manufacturing is still ramping up,” Reyes added. DMCI Mining revenues in the first half grew 123 percent from P1.2 billion to P2.7 billion. Including a nonrecurring income of P247 million mainly due to deferred tax liability remeasurement and 2020 income tax adjustment under CREATE Act, its standalone net income soared 409 percent from P241 million to P1.2 billion. Nickel is mainly used in stainless steelmaking, but is also a vital ingredient for the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles (EV). The International Energy Agency estimates that global EVs will grow 14 times to 145 million by 2030.

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