Mining

Mining

Philippine Resources - March 30, 2022

Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc.’s 2021 net income up 5.9% to ₱1.98B

Photo credit: Global Ferronickel Holdings Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. (FNI), the country’s second-largest nickel ore producer, recorded a 5.9% net income increase of ₱1.98 billion for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to ₱1.87 billion in the same period last year. Revenues are up by ₱445.5 million or 6.1% to ₱7.71 billion in 2021 against the ₱7.26 billion in 2020. “2021 has been a good year for FNI as we received the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award. It is the highest honor bestowed upon responsible mining companies by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,” said FNI President Dante R. Bravo. “We are also delighted with the continued surge in nickel prices, which has allowed us to grow our top and bottom line despite having experienced relatively bad weather conditions throughout last year’s mining season.” The bad weather constituted a lower shipment volume of 13.1% as the Group only managed to ship 90 vessels of nickel ore for a total of 4.887 million WMT in 2021 against the 103 vessels totaling 5.625 million WMT in 2020. The resulting product mix was 77% (3.761 millionWMT) low-grade ore and 23% (1.126 million WMT) medium-grade ore in 2021 versus last year’s mix of 68% (3.831 million WMT) low-grade ore and 32% (1.794 million WMT) medium-grade ore. The overall average realized nickel ore price for the year ended December 31, 2021 was higher by 21.5%, US$31.78/WMT compared to US$26.16/WMT for the year ended December 31, 2020. Low-grade ore was 22.2% higher, US$30.07/WMT in 2021 compared to US$24.61/WMT in 2020. Medium-grade ore was 27.2% higher, US$37.47/WMT in 2021 compared to US$29.47/WMT in 2020. “We are hoping to have more favorable weather conditions in our Cagdianao site this year to boost production, said Mr. Bravo.   Article courtesy of Global Ferronickel Holdings

Mining

Philippine Resources - March 29, 2022

MANAGEABLE MINE MANAGEMENT

By: Engr. Jeffrey Geronimo Mining companies are always challenged by the tight deadlines and targets to timely satisfy the production requirements of the mine.  This has often translated to numerous changes in mining strategies and plans which necessitates adoption of concurrent engineering methods.  However, this also increases complexity due to the parallel activity of various functional teams.  This is not an easy task for project managers and only shows how critical coordination is to prevent overloaded tasks and bottlenecks that may lead to further delays. The ENOVIA Project Manager role on the highly acclaimed 3DEXPERIENCE Mine platform uniquely gives the potential to accomplish zero delays by linking each team member’s mine data to project execution. In effect, mine project management becomes data-driven by being linked with the production targets. The implications of production targets can be quickly assessed against the project schedule. As a result, a project manager is taking action to resolve issues with a full understanding of the impact to the targets. DELIVERABLES PLANNING Project Manager enables users to organize and manage a mining company’s long and short-term targets and execute projects related to the planning and introduction of future targets. Users can associate the plans into projects and organize them into portfolios. A portfolio provides visibility into a project’s road map, individual tasks, and real-time status of milestones to share with other teams or departments. PROJECT PLANNING The Project Manager supports all phases of the project. Once each target is approved, it is updated to a formal project and can be distributed in detail into tasks. Users can then define a task’s hierarchy to help identify which plans to approve based on how they impact the mine strategy. Users can decompose complex activities into smaller manageable sub-projects. They can define schedules to organize and assign project members’ roles, non-working days, and shift turnovers. Tasks can be copied from projects or from project templates, including copying partial task structures. Project Manager also provides bi-directional support and integration to Microsoft Project for project managers that prefer using a Microsoft Project user interface for editing schedule information VISUAL OVERVIEWS Users can also view and edit the project schedule graphically via a Gantt Chart. The phases and tasks are displayed as bar charts based on the timelines, and the milestones and gates are marked on it as well. It illustrates the start and end dates, and displays the dependencies between tasks. It provides for an easy way to study the whole project schedule. FLEXIBLE WORK CALENDARS Being the undisputed global leader in mining software solutions, Dassault Systèmes understands that the mining industry has diverse workforce – most especially when you have multiple mine sites, shift handovers or roster breaks. The work week, working hours and holidays vary across the globe. It also varies based on the type of task being executed and across departments or even the work hours per day in a week. As the 3DEXPERIENCE Mine platform enables “zero-distance”, the ENOVIA Project Manager provides the ability to create flexible work calendars based on organizational and regional factors. Exceptions can be created on a calendar which be customized for holidays or for workdays and can recur on daily/weekly/ monthly/annual basis. There can be a start and end effectivity date for each exception. A practical use of exceptions is for handling mine production cutovers that require extra work longer than usual hours for a set period. The same use of exceptions may be required if a certain task is behind schedule. The company may choose to implement mandatory overtime temporarily. Each task can be on a different calendar based on the location of the task assignee or the type of task. If the task does not have a calendar, then the calendar associated to the user’s location is used, and if the location does not have a calendar, the default project calendar is used. Tasks are scheduled based on the calendar to provide an accurate schedule that reflects the real-life view for work plans. INVISIBLE GOVERNANCE As for traceability, users can capture meeting details to maintain artifacts for historical references. Managers can define meetings, and track who was invited and who actually attended. Agenda topics can be added to meetings with time durations allocated for each topic and associated document attachments for discussion. Issues that need further follow up and recorded decisions are stored as an outcome of the meeting. A sample dashboard of ENOVIA Project Manager’s Task Management app on the 3DEXEPERIENCE Platform ZERO DISTANCE: COLLABORATION AND APPROVALS Users can benefit from a wide range of capabilities for global enterprise collaboration to bring “zero distance” between the mine, main office, and other consultants. Those capabilities include the ability to manage and organize shared documents and structured product data; they also enable the creation of digital workspaces for virtual teams to work together. Users can easily raise issues, organize meetings and track decisions. Any modifications can be formally approved using routes defined by end-users or from standard route templates. MICROSOFT INTEGRATION The ENOVIA Project Manager role can create and access 3DEXPERIENCE data from the most popular Microsoft applications: Word®, Excel®, PowerPoint®, Outlook®, Windows Explorer, and Windows Desktop Search. This capability enables enterprise-level collaboration while not disrupting the established productivity of end-users. With product content being managed on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform rather than on users’ PCs, organizations are able to create, manage and review product content more securely. With the ENOVIA™ Project Manager on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, all stakeholders in the mining blockchain are aligned with the project goals and status – and work well together in achieving and defining your mine’s success. Let Paramina Earth Technologies, Inc. be your driver in your mine’s digital path to sustainable growth. Contact us at paramina_solutions@paramina.com or reach us through our website www.paramina.com for more information.   REFERENCE: Dassault Systèmes. (2022). Project Manager.

Mining

Philippine Resources - March 28, 2022

DENR seeks media help to monitor mining

Photo: Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Jim Sampulna calls on the media Friday (March 25, 2022) to help monitor large-scale mining operations in the country, to make sure that they follow the policies set by the government. Sampulna says irresponsible miners have no place in the country. (PNA photo by Che Palicte) Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Secretary Jim Sampulna said Friday that they need help from the media to monitor mining in the country. In an interview here Friday, Sampulna underscored the importance of closely watching mining activities in the country as not to put the environment in danger. "We only need responsible miners, we say no to irresponsible ones. They will be properly monitored by the DENR and the media," he said. Sampulna underscored the media’s vital role in protecting the environment. Recently, the DENR in Davao Region served a cease and desist order to the Riverbend Consolidated Mining Corporation/Arc Nickel Resources, Inc. (ANRI) located in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental, for the siltation incident in the area on January 14. The siltation took place at the Mapagba and Pinatatagan Rivers in Banaybanay town after more than 12 hours of heavy downpour. According to DENR-11, the potential source of siltation and discoloration in the two rivers were traced to the active mining activity of the company, based on the multi-agency investigation and assessment conducted on January 15. By Che Palicte   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

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Mining

Marcelle P. Villegas - March 21, 2022

Paste Backfill System - A Game Changer in Safety in the Mine

There are many ways and technological advancements that are used in mine sites that prevent disasters and address issues like ground stability at end of mine. One of the most fascinating techniques used by OceanaGold Corp. in assuring the safety of employees and protecting the environment is the use of the Paste Backfill System. Paste backfill is an engineered mixture of fine solid particles (with binder) and water. The paste mixture can be placed in stopes (an excavation in a mine or quarry in the form of a step or notch), and binders may be added (or not) depending on the kind of strength needed for the backfill. Paste backfills are also important in tailings management and mine backfill alternative. Binders are used in paste backfill where structural strength is required of the backfill and where resistance to liquefaction is necessary.[1]

Mining

Philippine Resources - March 17, 2022

Semirara Mining and Power Corp earns P16.2b net income in 2021, highest in its 41-year history

Photo: Integrated energy company Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) ended 2021 with a net income of P16.2 billion, the highest in its 41-year history. The 393-percent leap from P3.3 billion the previous year was mainly attributable to an 8- percent rise in coal production, 16-percent jump in coal shipments and 71-percent surge in average coal selling prices. “Our results reflect the hard work of our people. They rose to the challenges of the pandemic and delivered exceptional value to our stakeholders,” said SMPC president and COO Maria Cristina C. Gotianun. Contributions from the coal segment grew by 535 percent from P1.8 billion to P11.4 billion while both power subsidiaries delivered improved performances. Sem-Calaca Power Corporation contributed P3.3 billion, a 154-percent upturn from P1.3 billion the previous year. Meanwhile, Southwest Luzon Power Generation Company recorded a 1,563-percent rise in contributions from P87 million to P1.4 billion. For the fourth quarter alone, SMPC saw its net income expand by nearly twenty times from P297 million to P5.9 billion, its highest profit level for any given quarter. Average selling prices from October to December rallied by 229 percent from P1,354 to P4,452 as global supply disruptions and accelerated demand from China, India and Europe pushed index prices to record levels. Elevated coal prices offset the impact of lower shipments, which was nearly halved (46%) from 4.6 million metric tons (MMT) to 2.5 MMT owing to weather-induced coal production drops in the third quarter.   Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange

Mining

Philippine Resources - March 17, 2022

Nickel Asia hits P7.81b net income in 2021 on higher ore prices

Photo credit: Arrow Creatives “A defining year- that is how 2021 was for our Company”, said Martin Antonio G. Zamora, President and CEO of Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC; PSE: NIKL). “In the face of the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing economic and social hardships it has brought to our country and our communities, we remained focused on our people and our business objectives, on our diversification into renewables through our subsidiary Emerging Power, Inc. (EPI), and we even crafted and adopted a new vision for our future.” “At the same time the surging demand for nickel fueled by a doubling in sales of electric vehicles and strong growth in stainless steel production coupled with lower than expected nickel production, particularly out of Indonesia, resulted in a nickel deficit of about 150,000 tonnes rather than a projected surplus. This has clearly been a significant tailwind for the global nickel industry and for us”, Mr. Zamora added. FINANCIAL RESULTS NAC recently announced its audited financial and operating results for 2021 with attributable net income (net of minority interests) at P7.81 billion compared to P4.07 billion reported in 2020. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to P14.40 billion compared to P9.47 billion in the prior year. The higher net income was the result of higher ore sales prices. NAC sold a total of 17.94 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore at the weighted average realized price of $29.13 per WMT in 2021, compared to 18.20 million WMT at $22.46 per WMT in 2020. Accordingly, total revenue increased by 26% to P27.40 billion from P21.77 billion in the prior year. Breaking down the ore sales, the Company exported 10.79 million WMT of saprolite and limonite ore to customers in Japan and China at the average price of $40.40 per WMT in 2021. This compares to 10.02 million WMT at $33.99 per WMT in 2020. Likewise, NAC delivered 7.14 million WMT of limonite ore to the Coral Bay and Taganito HPAL plants, the prices of which are linked to the LME, and realized an average price of $8.36 per pound of payable nickel. This compares to 8.18 million WMT at $6.22 per pound of payable nickel in 2020. Expressed in US Dollar per WMT, deliveries to the two HPAL plants generated $12.11 and $8.33 per WMT in 2021 and 2020, respectively. Following higher Nickel LME prices, the Company recognized a gain from its equity share in its investments in the two HPAL plants in the combined amount of P557.9 million in 2021, compared to P190.4 million in the prior year. Furthermore, due to the stronger US Dollar against the Peso, NAC recognized net foreign exchange gains from its US Dollar denominated net financial assets in the amount of P558.9 million in 2021, a major turnaround from net foreign exchange losses of P450.8 million in 2020. Total operating cash costs increased by 11% year-on-year to P11.73 billion from P10.61 billion in the prior year. On a per WMT sold basis, total operating cash costs increased to P654 per WMT compared to P583 per WMT in 2020. RENEWABLE ENERGY On the NAC renewable energy business under EPI, Jobin-SQM Inc. (JSI), an EPI subsidiary, is expected to complete its 38 MW project expansion by second quarter this year. This will increase the capacity of its Mt. Sta. Rita Solar Power Project located in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone to 100MW from the current 62MW. In February 2021, JSI was awarded another 100 MW Solar Energy Operating Contract by the Department of Energy. JSI is currently in the pre-development stage and is looking to sign the EPC contract this year with a target of full commercial operation by 2024. Aside from expanding JSI’s projects, EPI is in the process of developing land in high irradiance areas in the country to grow its investments in solar power generation. It is in the final stages of acquiring a solar power project in Visayas. EPI is looking to reach 1,000 MW by 2028, adding about 500MW by 2025. It is likewise in search of appropriate sites for wind power projects. INCREASED EQUITY SHARE IN CORAL BAY The Board of Directors also approved the exercise by the Company of its option to purchase an additional 33,046,875 common shares in Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) for US$25,937,500 under an Option Agreement with Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. The Company intends to exercise its option in October 2022 or earlier, to increase the Company’s equity share in CBNC from 10% to 15.625%. REGULAR AND SPECIAL CASH DIVIDEND Finally, the NAC Board of Directors approved the declaration of a regular cash dividend of P0.17 and a special cash dividend of P0.05 per common share payable on April 7, 2022 to shareholders of record on March 24, 2022.

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Mining

Philippine Resources - March 15, 2022

LGUs Welcome Commencement Of Philex’s Silangan Project

Photo credit: Philex Mining The province of Surigao del Norte and other local government units welcomed the start of development of the Silangan copper-gold mine project (“Silangan”) of Philex Mining Corp., which at a cost of $224 million (about PHP11.2 billion), is one of the biggest investments in Mindanao. Philex’s wholly-owned unit, Silangan Mindanao Mining Co. Inc. (SMMCI), will begin development of the copper and gold mine in the second quarter of 2022 and expects it to begin commercial operation in early 2025. Throughout its 28-year mine life, Philex estimates that total investments to reach $1.7 billion, with $1.5 billion coming from funds to be generated by Silangan mine. Surigao del Norte Gov. Francisco T. Matugas said he is pleased that the long-delayed development of Silangan mine will soon commence to help generate jobs and spur economic activity in the province. “This is another milestone in the minerals industry that is geared towards building a prosperous nation by way of responsible mining,” said Gov. Matugas in a letter to Philex  and SMMCI President and Chief Executive Officer Eulalio B. Austin Jr. “Similarly, this is also a welcome development for our province and constituents who have been immensely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and, just recently, the Super Typhoon Odette,” he added. Surigao del Norte 2nd Congressional District Congressman Robert Ace S. Barbers said the forthcoming development of Silangan should generate the employment, local expenditures and taxes needed to fuel economic recovery from the pandemic and the damage caused by Typhoon Odette.  Tubod Mayor Richelle B. Romarate welcomed the coming development of Silangan mine and called Philex an “able partner” in economic activities of the town. Philex was awarded by government a Minerals Production and Sharing Agreement (MPSA) in 1999 for the Silangan mining claims that cover 2,880 hectares that straddle the towns of Placer, Tagana-an, Tubod and Sison—all in Surigao del Norte. “Since its exploration stage, the Silangan project has always been an able partner of our town and my administration towards progress and economic development while consistently demonstrating its responsible stewardship of environmental and social concerns,” Mayor Romarate said. Placer Mayor Jovymarie C. Villazon recalled how Philex and its unit Silangan Mindanao Mining Corp. had displayed good practices towards the community and the environment. “With that, we look forward to the realization of their plans and programs with the same sense of professionalism during the development and operating stages,” Mayor Villazon said. Tagana-an Mayor Cesar B. Diaz Jr. said the imminent development of Silangan is most welcome coming in the wake of the pandemic and Typhoon Odette. “With this development comes new employment opportunities for the residents and helps the local economy to generate additional income through the generated taxes from this project,” he said. Mike Toledo, Chief Operating Officer of SMMCI, said that among others the mining project will generate direct and indirect employment for around 8,000 people, raise about PHP86.7 billion in investments, and contribute an estimated PHP38.0 billion in government receipts throughout its 28-year mine life in Surigao del Norte, which is home to more than half a million Filipinos. Aside from LGU approval and support, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has also extended the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement, or MPSA, granted to SMMCI to 2049. The Silangan Project has also secured tax holidays from the Board of Investments.   Article courtesy of Philex Mining

Mining

Philippine Resources - March 15, 2022

Apex Mining’s Chief Geologist Wins Highly Coveted Distinction & Excellence Award for Geology from Country’s Professionals Federation

The Philippine Federation of Professional Associations (PFPA) – Council for Built and Natural Environments and the Geological Society of the Philippines have recognized Noe L. Caagusan with the Distinction & Excellence Award for Geology 2021. Caagusan, currently Apex Mining Co., Inc’s chief geologist, shares this accolade with his Apex colleagues as the company is celebrating its 52nd year. “Much thanks to the supportive atmosphere in our Apex home that encourages productive creativity.” The veteran geologist is credited for the discoveries of the onshore San Antonio gas field in Isabela and the Maibarara geothermal field in Batangas. He is also behind the pioneering analysis of metamorphic rocks of Mindoro Island and the discovery of the 100 million-barrel Etame Marin oil field in offshore Gabon as well as a gold deposit in central Mongolia. Caagusan’s illustrious career has also given him other accolades, including the Lifetime Achievement Award (GSP-Phil), the Seamount Award (MGB-Phil) for the study of petroleum reservoirs in offshore Palawan, an IUGS gold pin from the International Union of Geological Science in Norway for five years of petroleum resource study of the South China Sea with Asean and East Asian Senior Geologists, and the Pewter Horse award (Singapore) for a study of hydrocarbon generation in the Cagayan Basin.  He is also a recipient of a Philippine Presidential Recognition for being the Coordinator of the Disaster Relief work in the M7.7 Luzon earthquake of 1990. Fresh out of college, he worked for nine years as a geologist at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau, back when it was still known as the Bureau of Mines. He also served as PNOC-EC’s chief of the Geology division for 17 years and stayed 19 years at the PetroEnergy Resources Cop. The awards ceremony of the 9th PFPA was held at the UP Bahay ng Alumni on 26 Feb. 2022.

Mining

Abe Almirol and Marcelle P. Villegas - March 14, 2022

OceanaGold on PH Mining Club – Mining Gold for a Better Future

Things are getting better for OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. after their application for FTAA renewal was finally approved last year for the Didipio gold and copper mine. Last 14 July 2022, the Philippine Government finally granted OGPI another 25 years to operate. The company's operations had been halted for nearly two years due to a dispute between the mining firm and the provincial government. [1] From the company's media release on their website, OPGI said that the new Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) applies retroactively from June 19, 2019. When they started operations again in November of 2021, they produced 14,863 ounces of gold and 2,323 tonnes of copper. This surpassed the company’s 2021 guidance range of 7,000 to 12,000 ounces of gold and 1,000 tonnes of copper. Last 11 February 2022, Philippine Mining Club's 14th Webinar presented OceanaGold's David Way as keynote speaker. Way is the General Manager for New Zealand and Philippines of OceanaGold Corporation. His presentation is titled “Mining gold for a better future -- delivering on our commitments”. The virtual event was well attended with more than 200 attendees. Upon the renewal of their FTAA contract last year, the company expressed their gratitude to the Philippine Government and that their top priority is to rehire and train its workforce in the Philippines.

Mining

Philippine Resources - March 09, 2022

Philex core net income hits P2.533b for 2021

Photo credit: Redjie Melvic Cawis Philex Mining Corporation, one of the oldest and largest gold and copper producers in Southeast Asia added Php668 million of Core Net Income in 4Q2021 to its Php1.865 billion Core Net Income for the first nine months ended September 30, 2021. Thus, full year Core Net Income rose 118% to Php2.533 billion compared with Php1.162 billion for the full year of 2020. Favorable and sustained higher level of realized prices for Gold and Copper resulted in higher operating revenues in 2021, registering a healthy 25% increase over the year 2020. Operating revenues reached Php9.797 billion in 2021 from Php7.834 billion in 2020. Realized Gold prices was at its highest level in 4Q2021 reaching $1,783 per ounce, while Copper reached $4.44 per pound in October 2021. Operating costs were only slightly elevated by 4.8% to Php6.598 billion from Php6.298 billion in 2020 due to the increase in cost of materials and supplies, partly offset by lower power cost and non-cash charges. PRODUCTION Tonnage milled for 4Q2021 slowed down slightly to 1.972 million tonnes from 2.006 million tonnes in 3Q2021. Tonnage milled in 2021 reached 7.946 million tonnes, or 1.4% higher than 2020. Ore grades continue to hold at the same level as in 2020, leading to minimal impact on Gold and Copper output in 2021 compared with 2020. Gold output in 4Q2021 reached 13,855 ounces, adding to the 41,295 ounces for the three quarters ending September 2021, resulting in annual production of 55,149 ounces, slightly lower by 1.6% from 2020 Gold output. Copper output for 2021 stood at 26.2 million pounds, 1.4% lower from the 2020 Copper output. OPERATING EXPENSES, EBITDA, AND CASH DIVIDENDS Operating costs and expenses rose slightly up by 4.8% from the 2020 levels due to the increase in the cost of materials and supplies, including logistics expenses, higher excise taxes and royalties on account of higher operating revenues, partly offset by lower power costs and lower non-cash charges as a result of the extension of the life of mine. The healthy EBITDA level for 2021 at Php4.317 billion allowed the Company to continue its debt reduction program during 2021. Total payments made to short term creditors amounted to US$8 million for the period. With a very good performance in 2021, the Board declared a cash dividend of 5 centavos (Php0.05) per common share aggregating to Php247 million, to shareholders on record as of March 21, 2022, which will be paid on April 3, 2022, as Philex preserves cash surplus as part of the initial capital for the development of Silangan. OUTLOOK The sustained prices of Gold and Copper in the global market are providing Philex a continuing window of opportunity to optimize the mineable reserves and metal output. Profitability and liquidity since 2020 have been on a positive trend and has materially enhanced the Company’s profitability and financial condition, allowing the Company to expedite the launching of the development of Silangan project under its In Phase Mine Plan. At the same time, studies are underway to explore and determine the feasibility of the mineable resources and/or reserves surrounding the Padcal mine, whilst the Gold and Copper prices are at its current high levels. The Company has been working diligently with all stakeholders on implementing the fund raising plan which pave the way for the timely development and start of commercial operations of the Silangan project by early 2025. The initial capital needed under the In Phase Mine Plan is US$224 million or about Php11.2 billion, to be funded by a combination of proceeds from a stock rights offer, from the cash reserves of Philex, and possibly some incremental debt at the Silangan level. The Company has appointed BDO Capital and Investment Corporation as its issue manager and lead underwriter for the fund raising. “No doubt, 2021 was a blessing for us considering the high metal prices for Copper & Gold that even with the marginal grades of ore that we are mining, we continue working on our business continuity plans,” according to Philex president and CEO Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. “Furthermore, we were also able to successfully deal with the deadly Covid-19 virus because of our strict and constant adherence to health protocols and our mass vaccination program. Consequently, we have had no disruption in our operation for the year.” “The year 2021 also brought hope to the mining industry with significant regulatory changes on the horizon, such as the suspension of the ban on new mining agreements and lifting of the ban on open pit mining method. These developments auger well for the mining industry come 2022—a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.” “We will continue our relentless drive to improve our operations, and are now looking at new investment opportunities,” whilst prolonging the life of our Padcal mine, said Philex Chairman M. V. Pangilinan. The job security and welfare of our employees and their dependents are still our primordial concern.” “Silangan will be an exciting project for us in 2022— it could ensure that our business continues for a long time to come. We look forward this year with a fair degree optimism, given the buoyant prices of commodities in general, and of metal prices in particular, driven by global geopolitical and supply factors,” concluded Chairman Pangilinan.   Aritcle courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange

Mining

Philippine Resources - March 08, 2022

Atlas Mining Net Income soared to Php3.86 billion in 2021

Photo credit: Bilyonaryo Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation ("Atlas Mining") reported a record net income of Php3.83 billion for the year 2021 compared to the net income of Php118 million for the same period in 2020. Stable production, resilient operation and higher metal prices sustained the turnaround performance of Atlas Mining. Metal prices remained high throughout the year pushing average copper price for 2021 higher by 53% to $4.26/1b and gold price from USD1,777/ounce to USD1,802/ounce compared to the same period last year. Atlas Mining's wholly-owned subsidiary, Carmen Copper Corporation, reported higher copper production and shipments in the second half compared to the first half of the year due to improvements in copper head grades and recovery. Copper metal produced in the second half increased by 13% from 38.73 million lbs to 43.68 million lbs while gold produced increased by 25% from 11,176 ounces to 13,997 ounces. Year-on-year, copper metal production decreased from 107.09 million pounds in 2020 to 82.41 million pounds in 2021, due mainly to the decrease in copper grades by 19% from 0.304% to 0.247%. Gold production decreased year-on-year by 47% from 47,857 ounces to 25,173 ounces due also to lower gold grades from 8.17 grams/dmt to 5.37 grams/dmt.  Despite operational disruptions arising from high rainfall levels and typhoon Odette that affected our mining area, milling tonnage in 2020 of 50,000 tonnes per day or 18.3 million tonnes was sustained in 2021 which tempered the impact of lower grades. Cash costs decreased by 6% year-on-year from Php9.51 billion in 2020 to Php8.95 billion in 2021, due to overall lower volumes of shipments. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EB1TDA) was Php9.77 billion for the year, 10% higher compared to Php8.92 billion in 2020. Core income was Php3.28 billion in 2021 compared to Php2.58 billion in 2020. Atlas Mining continues to strengthen its overall financial position supported by its improving earnings, efficient operations and robust metals market. According to Atlas Mining President, Adrian Ramos, "The turnaround of Atlas Mining is credited to a resilient and stable operation that was sustained over the years with a disciplined focus on safety and efficiencies. This enabled Atlas Mining to survive the market downturn and to optimize earnings in a resurgent commodities market."   Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange

Mining

Philippine Resources - February 28, 2022

Mining Undersecretary becomes OIC-Secretary after Cimatu steps down as DENR chief

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Mining, Muslim Affairs, and Attached Agencies, Mr. Jim O. Sampulna has stepped in place of DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu after his official resignation on February 17, 2021. Acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles confirmed on February 18, 2021, that Cimatu's departure was due to health reasons. "We wish Secretary Cimatu good health as he transitions from his decades-long and stellar service in government to private life," Nograles said in a statement. Before being appointed as DENR Secretary in May 2017, Cimatu is a retired Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and served as the country's Special Envoy to the Middle East with the rank of Ambassador under the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. According to a Memorandum from the Office of the President, Undersecretary Jim Sampulna was appointed as Officer-in-Charge of DENR, “until a replacement is appointed or until otherwise directed by this Office."

Mining

Philippine Resources - February 24, 2022

PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT GIVES CELSIUS RESOURCES’ MCB PROJECT PRIORITY STATUS

Figure 1: Location of the MCB Project in the Province of Kalinga, Northern Luzon, Philippines. Celsius Resources Limited (“Celsius” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce that its Philippine subsidiary, Makilala Mining Company, Inc. (“MMCI”) has received priority project status for the Maalinao-Caigutan-Biyog (MCB) Copper-Gold Project (“MCB” or “the Project”) from the the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Director Atty. Wilfredo G. Moncano in a meeting on 18 February 2022. MMCI’s management and technical staff presented the outcomes of the scoping study completed in December 2021i as part of the declaration of mine feasibility permitting process. The MGB Officials were pleased with the progress of the project and appreciative of the social and environmental factors integrated into the mine design. The use of paste backfill underground, along with dry stacking of the mine tailings replacing the need for a tailings dam, greatly mitigated the downstream agricultural communities’ concerns as they had witnessed adverse environmental impacts back when the adjacent Batong Buhay Mine was in operations. The MGB officials also commended MMCI Team for their determination to move the project forward despite the most challenging conditions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed their support to see the project through to operations. At the conclusion of the presentation Dir. Moncano announced:, “This project has significant potential, we will endorse it as a priority project to fast-track government approvals.” Several activities are currently underway to support the application for the Declaration of Mine Project Feasibility and Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) as the project proceeds through the various approval phases. MCB COPPER-GOLD PROJECT The MCB Copper-Gold Project (MCB) is located in the Cordillera Administrative Region in the Philippines, approximately 320 kilometers north of Manila (Figure 1). It is the flagship project within the Makilala portfolio which also contains other key prospects in the pipeline for permit renewal/extension. A maiden JORC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate was declared for the MCB Project in January 2021, comprising 314 million tonnes @ 0.48% copper and 0.15 g/t gold, for 1.5 million tonnes of contained copper and 1.47 million ounces of gold, of which 290.3 million tonnes @ 0.48% copper and 0.15 g/t gold is classified as Indicated and 23.5 million tonnes @ 0.48% copper and 0.10 g/t gold is classified as Inferred. A Scoping Study for the MCB Project was announced by CLA on 1 December 2021, which identified a post tax NPV8 of US$464M, IRR 33% and Capex of US$253M with a 25 year mine life. The scoping study was based on an underground sub level stoping operation of the high grade core of 49 million tonnes @0.85% copper and 0.41 g/t gold and processing facility to produce a saleable copper-gold concentrate.   Article courtesy of Celsius Resources

Mining

Philippine Resources - February 18, 2022

Lifting of mining ban to usher in manufacturing resurgence

Photo credit: Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation The Australia Philippine Business Council (APBC) said the impacts of lifting the open-pit mining ban will spill over to other industries like manufacturing. In a statement, APBC said the decision of the government to lift the moratorium will revitalize the mining industry, usher in the country’s manufacturing resurgence, and boost investors’ confidence in the Philippines. “The Philippines lifted a four-year-old ban on open-pit mining for copper, gold, silver, and complex ores in December 2021. This followed scrubbing of the 2012 moratorium on new mining agreements seven months earlier. These developments are expected to usher in significant benefits to the economy including manufacturing resurgence, and step up investor confidence,” APBC said. APBC president Rene Cabrera added that with the lifting of the moratorium, the Philippines and Australia can further strengthen partnerships in the mining sector. “Mining is one industry that truly highlights the complementarity between Australia and the Philippines. The Philippines has vast untapped natural resources; Australia is a global expert in minerals development and production underpinned by responsible mining practices sought by the Philippine government and community. The potential for rewarding opportunities has always been there,” Cabrera said. APBC special advisor and former chair of OceanaGold Philippines Jose Leviste Jr. said Australian firms are “well-placed to capitalize on these developments” in the Philippine mining industry. “The areas of opportunity include mineral exploration, mining equipment supply, engineering services, specialist software, and industry education and training,” Leviste added. APBC said the prospects in the mining industry remain largely untapped, noting that the country has an estimated USD1.3 trillion worth of mineral resources. The copper industry is one of the five key sectors under the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Make It Happen in the Philippines investment campaign, the country having the fourth largest copper reserves in the world. The DTI aims to attract foreign companies to invest in integrated facilities—from extraction to manufacturing of high-value copper products. By Kris Crismundo   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

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Mining

Philippine Resources - February 14, 2022

Philex bares plan to extend life of Pacdal underground mine in Benguet

Philex Mining Corp., one of the country’s largest producers of copper and gold, said recently it plans to prolong the life of its underground mine in Padcal, Benguet, potentially overlapping with the start of the commercial production of its Silangan mine in Mindanao by 2025. The decision to extend Padcal’s mine life beyond 2024 will depend on the study of the remaining mineable reserve, favorable price of copper and gold, cost of producing the metals moving forward and obtaining the required government permits, the company said. “Studies are ongoing. The extension of Padcal’s operation will be dependent on the study of the remaining mineable reserve, favorable price of copper and gold, as well as cost of producing the metals moving forward and obtaining the required government permits. If prices hold on to the levels where they are now, which we consider high, then there is a possibility of extension,” said Philex president and chief executive Eulalio Austin Jr. Padcal, where copper and gold, were extracted beginning 1958, is scheduled to cease operation by the end of 2024 after several extensions of its mine life. Philex said it would begin the development of a starter mine in Silangan in Surigao del Norte this year. The copper and gold mine will start commercial operation by early 2025, limiting any major impact to Philex’s income flow even if Padcal ceases operation as scheduled in 2024. An overlap in Padcal and Silangan’s operation could bolster Philex income stream, officials said. Philex said it secured all regulatory approvals for Silangan, including the nod of the local government units, indigenous people and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The mineral production sharing agreement, which was scheduled to expire in 2024, was also extended by the full 25-year term or up to 2049. An initial investment of $224 million is needed to develop a starter mine that will produce around 2,000 metric tons of ore per day. Production, under the current development plan, will be ramped up to 12,000 MT a day or 4 million MT annually by the 12th year. With Jenniffer B. Austria Philex estimated total investment, including spending to operate and maintain the mine, would reach $1.5 billion over its 28-year-mine life. It is also expected to generate thousands of jobs, particularly in Surigao del Norte towns of Placer, Tubod, Tagana-an and Sison, and contribute billions of pesos in taxes to both the local government units and the national government. by Othel V. Campos   Article courtesy of the Manila Standard 

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