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Philippine Resources - January 28, 2022

SEC clears Philex Mining stock rights offer

Photo credit: Bilyonaryo The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has considered favorably the stock rights offer by Philex Mining Corporation for a maximum of PHP3.15 billion. In its meeting on January 27, the commission en banc resolved to render effective the registration statement filed by Philex Mining for a stock rights offer covering up to 842 million common shares, subject to certain remaining requirements. The actual number of common shares to be issued will depend on the final offer price.  Philex Mining will offer the shares to eligible shareholders for a maximum offer price of PHP4.81 per share. Net proceeds from the offer could amount to PHP3.059 billion.  Proceeds will be used for the company’s investment in subsidiary Silangan Mindanao Mining Company, Inc. through Silangan Mindanao Exploration Co., Inc. for the capital expenditures and development cost of its Silangan Project, which includes mine development, construction of the mill plant and support facilities, and storage tailings facility. The stock rights offer will run from February 28 to March 10, in time for the listing of the offer shares on the Philippine Stock Exchange on March 21, according to the latest timetable submitted by Philex Mining to the SEC. The company has engaged BDO Capital & Investment Corporation as the issue manager and lead underwriter for the offer.   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

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Philippine Resources - January 27, 2022

Mines and Geosciences Bureau Advocates for a Gender-inclusive Small-scale Mining Industry

In an effort to support women workers in the small-scale mining industry, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in partnership with planetGOLD Philippines, held a two-day online workshop on gender inclusivity last December 9-10, 2021. The workshop, dubbed “Mainstreaming Gender in Small Scale Mining,” aimed to help the participants gain knowledge on gender issues in the small-scale mining industry. Over 50 representatives from the MGB Central Office and the gender focal from the regional offices participated in the workshop. “For mining practice to be socially responsible, it should address the needs of men and women in small-scale mining communities. The government programs for small-scale mining are trying to focus on how the sector can provide opportunities for men and women and promote women empowerment. For this reason, gender mainstreaming should be integrated into our efforts to formalize the sector,” said Engr. Roland A. De Jesus, Assistant Director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau. The workshop served as an avenue for discussion on the legal framework related to gender and small-scale mining. It tackled issues such as limited access to sustainable livelihood, violence against women, unpaid carework, lack of gender inclusive initiatives, and the poor working condition of small-scale women miners. The gender leads who participated in the workshop developed action plans to enhance the current effort of MGB in achieving a gender-inclusive environment in the male-dominated industry of small-scale mining. According to a baseline study on the current situation conducted by the planetGold Philippines in Sagada, Mountain Province, and in Paracale, Camarines Norte, the common issues faced by women in small-scale mining includes limited access to resources and benefits, poor working conditions, occupational health hazards, job insecurity, unpaid care work (domestic work), and gender-based violence. “Women face several barriers to have meaningful participation in small-scale mining. Their contributions to the sector are undervalued.  Several gender gaps such as access to resources in small-scale mining remain unaddressed. The planetGOLD Philippines is working to address these challenges in order to make small-scale mining inclusive and a safe space for women to work, ” planetGOLD Philippines National Gender Specialist Jacklyn Belo-Enricoso explained. Guided by the presentations, the participants joined a breakout session to brainstorm on action steps for the welfare of women in the small-scale mining industry. The small groups developed localized action plans to resolve key gender issues and address policy and institutional gaps in mainstreaming gender in small-scale mining. The workshop serves as a prelude to the gender-inclusivity series to be conducted starting 2022 to strengthen the efforts of making small-scale mining a gender-inclusive sector.   Article courtesy of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau

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Philippine Resources - January 26, 2022

MGB on lifting the open-pit mining ban

With the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issuing an order to lift the moratorium on the open-pit method in the country through DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2021-40 issued on Dec. 23, 2021, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Mine Safety, Environment, and Sustainable Development Division (MSESDD) Chief, Engr. Marcial M. Mateo went on “Kapamilya Konek”, radio program DZMM Teleradyo on January 11, 2021, to comment on repealing the open-pit mining ban. The late DENR Secretary Regina Paz Lopez enforced the said ban four years ago, noting the environmental impacts of the mining operations that violated the mining law. Engr. Mateo recalls that out of 51 metallic mines in operation at that time, 27 mines were suspended. He notes some of those suspended operations appealed their cases with Malacañang and DENR. While these mining operations have been suspended, they were still required to maintain their respective mine areas for their continued progressive environmental mitigation and rehabilitation activities. He briefly explained the process of the open-pit mining method as part of surface mining and the advantages of such mining method to the national economy. Prior to the ban of the open-pit mining method, the approval, and processing of mining operations were also halted by the late President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino during his term through the issuance of Executive Order (E.O) No. 79. Engr. Mateo states that through E.O 79, the government has required the mining industry to increase excise tax from 2% to 4%. He also explains further that in DAO 2021-40, a team from DENR, EMB, and MGB will be assessing the surface mines to certify that their environment programs will be strictly implemented.

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Philippine Resources - January 25, 2022

OceanaGold Provides Operational Results and Update on Didipio

Scott Sullivan, Acting CEO of OceanaGold said, “We finished the year with a strong fourth quarter of production, backed by solid operational performances from Haile, which delivered a record annual gold output and Didipio, where ramp-up is advancing ahead of schedule. We are delivering on our commitments by achieving our full year consolidated guidance and generating positive free cash flow for the first time in over two years.” “OceanaGold is focused on delivering value to shareholders over the long term by consistently executing our business plans and making prudent investment decisions geared to maximise the value of our operations. Although we have made significant improvements to the business over the past several months, we have more work ahead of us to implement additional changes and regain our status as one of the premier gold miners in 2 the industry. I have full confidence that we will achieve this and regain our favoured market position over the short, medium and long term.” For the full year, OceanaGold achieved its consolidated production and cost guidance. On a consolidated basis, the Company produced 362,807 ounces of gold and 2,323 tonnes of copper. Gold production was approximately 20% higher over 2020 due to significant year-on-year record gold output at Haile, the successful re-start and continued ramp-up of operations at Didipio and ramp-up of Martha Underground at Waihi, which was partially offset by lower head grades and mill feed from Macraes. Fourth quarter consolidated production was 106,591 ounces of gold, an approximate 35% quarter-on-quarter increase on the back of a greater output from the New Zealand operations and increasing production contribution from Didipio. On a consolidated basis, the Company recorded an AISC of $1,247 per ounce on gold sales of 381,562 ounces and copper sales of 5,104 tonnes. Fourth quarter consolidated AISC was $1,326 per ounce on gold sales of 105,336 ounces and copper sales of 1,748 tonnes. AISC was similar year-on-year with higher sales offset by increased sustaining capital investments. The Company’s AISC increased 10% quarter-on-quarter on higher cash costs and sustaining capital, which was partially offset by higher gold sales. Haile Gold Mine – United States For the full year, Haile produced an annual record of 189,975 ounces of gold, exceeding its full year production guidance range of 175,000 to 180,000 ounces, a range that was lifted twice over the course of 2021. Haile’s year-on-year production increased nearly 40% as a result of higher grades mined and processed as well as operational and productivity improvements implemented throughout the year. Haile’s fourth quarter gold production was 42,484 ounces, slightly lower than the previous quarter as guided however, the result exceeded expectation due to continued mining and processing of higher grades. Full year AISC at Haile was $1,060 per gold ounce sold, well below its full year AISC guidance range, while fourth quarter AISC was $1,161 per ounce sold. The Haile Technical Review is ongoing, and the Company now expects to release the preliminary results of the study in the first quarter. The Company continues to expect the SEIS Final Record of Decision in the first quarter and anticipates receipt of subsequent operating permits shortly thereafter. The permits are necessary to allow underground mine development, expansion of the operating footprint to accommodate the build-out of future waste storage facilities and increased water discharge rates. As previously guided, the ongoing delay in the finalisation of the SEIS is impacting productivity at Haile, where mining rates are limited by additional material and water re-handling, reducing output and increasing costs. Upon receipt of the necessary permits, the Company expects more efficient operations with fewer constraints and lower mining unit costs to be delivered progressively over a two-year period. Didipio Gold-Copper Mine – Philippines At Didipio, following the restart of processing in early November, the operation produced 14,863 ounces of gold and 2,323 tonnes of copper, exceeding the Company’s 2021 guidance range of 7,000 to 12,000 ounces of gold and 1,000 tonnes of copper. Didipio’s by-product AISC for the year was negative $25 per ounce on sales of 29,889 ounces of gold and 5,104 tonnes of copper. Fourth quarter AISC was $16 per ounce on gold sales of 10,738 ounces and copper sales of 1,748 tonnes. This included the sale of all remaining pre-existing coppergold concentrate inventory on hand. The ramp-up of operations to full production rates is advancing ahead of schedule. Macraes Gold Mine – New Zealand At Macraes, the operation produced 130,287 ounces of gold for the full year, including 37,385 ounces in the fourth quarter. Although the full year result is below the lower end of guidance, the quarter-on-quarter production increased 45% on the back of a higher head grade and increased mill feed. Full year production was impacted by inclement weather early in 2021 resulting in delayed access to higher grade zones, mill disruptions related to mill motor failures, geotechnical challenges at Coronation North and COVID-19 restrictions in the second and third quarters. In the fourth quarter, the operation delivered first production from Golden Point Underground as expected. Full year AISC was $1,468 per ounce on 130,305 ounces of gold sold while fourth quarter AISC was $1,469 per ounce on gold sales of 36,615 ounces. The Company expects Macraes to deliver a stronger operational result in 2022 consistent with operational improvements implemented in the second half of 2021 and the continued ramp-up of the Golden Point Underground mine. Waihi Gold Mine – New Zealand The Waihi operation produced 27,682 ounces of gold for the full year, including 11,859 ounces in the fourth quarter, which was 57% higher than the previous quarter. The production increase was attributed to the continued ramp-up of mining rates from the Martha Underground leading to higher mill feed where continuous processing commenced at the end of the second quarter. Production was impacted by various local and regional COVID-19 restrictions and isolation requirements following the lifting of the Government mandated lockdowns and from negative reconciliation, which was previously flagged. The Company continues to increase drilling to assist mine planning efforts and does not expect long-term impacts related to the resource model. For the full year, Waihi’s AISC was $1,701 per ounce on gold sales of 26,373 ounces, while fourth quarter AISC was $1,845 per ounce on 11,517 ounces of gold sold. Looking ahead to 2022, the Company expects the continued ramp-up of operations at the Martha Underground, with a significant increase to gold production and decrease in costs.   The numbers contained in this article are unaudited and subject to finalisation. The Company will release its complete 2021 audited financial and operational results after TSX market close on Wednesday February 23, 2022 (Toronto Eastern Standard Time). Article courtesy of Oceanagold

Mining

Marcelle P. Villegas - January 22, 2022

Senator De Lima passed a resolution against lifting of open-pit mining ban

Before the year ended, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu signed the Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2021-40 that lifts the ban on open-pit mining. The order was passed last 23rd of December 2021. This covers mining for copper, gold, silver and other complex ores. DENR made this decision with hopes to revive the mining industry so it may once again provide job opportunities in rural areas. This decision was a response to counter the economic downturn that resulted from the global pandemic.

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Philippine Resources - January 13, 2022

Summary of Mineable Reserves Estimate for the Silangan Copper-Gold Project under the In-Phase Mine Plan

Photo credit: Philex Mining Philex Mining Corporation is pleased to announce the completion of the In-Phase Mine Plan feasibility study and an updated mineable reserve estimate for the Boyongan deposit in accordance with the 2012 Philippine Mineral Reporting Code (“PMRC”). A feasibility study for a 4 Million tonnes per year sub-level cave mining plan for the Boyongan copper porphyry deposit was previously completed and disclosed in 2019 and was used as the basis for the In-Phase Mine Plan feasibility study. The in-phase plan consists of a starter sub-level cave mine that has an annual ore production of 700 thousand tonnes or 2,000 tonnes per day. Mining will commence at the East sub-level cave because it has the highest grade ore. A new decline will be developed to access the East sub-level cave while the existing exploration decline will be rehabilitated to serve as an alternative mine access and a ventilation exhaust for mine air. Ore coming from the starter mine will be hauled using mine trucks from the underground to the process plant at the surface, where it will be crushed and ground to required sizes. Copper, gold and silver will be recovered using copper leaching and gold leaching processes because the ore at this point consists of predominantly oxide minerals. The processing plant will produce a London Metal Exchange (LME) grade (99.999%) copper cathode and gold-silver dore. Tailings from the processing plant will be piped to the Tailings Storage Facility which is 5 Kilometers to the northwest of the Boyongan ore body. The initial capital cost to develop the starter mine is estimated to be US$ 224 Million, which will be spent within the 2.5 years development period. The 2,000 tonnes per day starter mine will last for 5 years, after which on the sixth year of production, mining and processing rate will increase to 4,000 tonnes per day or 1.3 Million tonnes per year. By the ninth year, ore production and processing rates will again increase to 8,000 tonnes per day or 2.7 Million tonnes per year. On this year as well, a copper flotation circuit will be added to the process plant as the ore mined now consists of oxide and sulfide minerals. Copper flotation will produce copper concentrates with gold and silver. The final ramp up will occur on the twelfth year. Ore production rate starting this year up to when the mineable ore will be exhausted will be 12,000 tonnes per day or 4 Million tonnes per year. The life of mine for Phase 1 Boyongan is 28 years. The resulting updated mineable reserve estimate below is the culmination of the In-PhaseMine Plan feasibility study undertaken. After incorporating standard mining factors to the mineral resource, the competent person for this report has delineated 81 Million tonnes as mineable reserve.   Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange

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Philippine Resources - January 05, 2022

OCEANAGOLD ANNOUNCES START OF PROCESSING AT DIDIPIO

Back in November, OceanaGold Corporation announced the commencement of processing at the Didipio Gold-Copper Mine.  Scott Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer & Acting CEO of OceanaGold said, “This is a major milestone for OceanaGold, the Didipio Mine and host communities. Following the confirmation of the Didipio Mine Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement renewal, Didipio is producing gold and copper again, which will be an important source of free cash flow generation for the Company and a significant contributor of socio-economic benefits for the region and country.” “The start of milling is two weeks ahead of schedule, following the completion of plant upgrades and maintenance activities and the start of mining activities was one month ahead of schedule. It marks a new beginning for the operation and the predominately Filipino workforce who are leading and operating a first quartile gold and copper producer.” “As the underground mining operations continue to ramp up over the course of the next eight to nine months, the primary ore feed will be sourced from low-grade stockpiles, of which the Company has approximately 23 million tonnes of ore on surface. With underground ore progressively being delivered to the ROM pad, the operation will increase the proportion of higher-grade ore feed to supplement the mill.” The Didipio process plant is expected to ramp up to its throughput rate of 3.5 million tonnes per annum over the course of the next few weeks. For the remainder of the year, the Company expects to produce between 7,000 and 12,000 ounces of gold and 1,000 tonnes of copper at an All-In Sustaining Costs between US$100 and US$150 per ounce sold on a by-product basis. The Company will continue to manage the risks associated with COVID-19 as it continues to ramp up operations to full production rates of 10,000 ounces of gold and 1,000 tonnes of copper a month. Mr Sullivan went on to add, “We are grateful for the support and cooperation from our workforce, government and regulators who are working with us as we ramp up Didipio to full production. In parallel with the ramp-up, Didipio has recommenced social and development projects and continues to support COVID-19 vaccination and community health programs in partnership with local authorities.”   Article courtesy of OceanaGold

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Philippine Resources - January 04, 2022

DOF backs DENR move to lift ban on open-pit mining

The Department of Finance (DOF) has expressed its support behind the recent decision of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to lift the ban on open-pit mining as it voiced full confidence in the government’s capability to strictly regulate mining operations to address and minimize the impact posed by these extractive activities on the environment.  In backing the DENR’s decision, Finance  Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Republic Act (RA) No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 does not prohibit open-pit mining as there are economic, safety, and environmental considerations for employing this method. “As co-chair of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC), I support DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu's decision to lift the ban on open-pit mining. The matter was extensively discussed in the MICC and with advice and guidance from experts, the recommendation was to lift the ban,” he said. Dominguez said adequate safeguards can be implemented to ensure the safety of this mining method.  “Strict monitoring and enforcement to ensure compliance with environmental standards shall be undertaken to prevent any abuse in the implementation of this type of mining activity,” he said. “I am confident that the DENR is fully capable of regulating mining operations in the country so that mining activities are conducted safely with due regard to the protection of the environment.”  As the official representative of the President to the Climate Change Commission (CCC), Dominguez said he is mindful of the impact of mining activities on the environment and the country’s goal to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.  “The protection of the environment is non-negotiable. We have to strike a careful balance between preserving and protecting the environment and pursuing our economic development objectives,” he said.  With the lifting of the ban, Dominguez said the mining industry can become a key contributor to the nation’s economic recovery as the DENR has projected that open-pit mining will lead to the immediate development of 11 pending projects that are expected to generate about PHP11 billion combined in yearly government revenue, increase annual exports by PHP36 billion, and provide employment to 22,880 people living in remote municipalities.  “Clearly, it will revive an industry that will create jobs and spur economic growth in the countryside,” he said.  “More importantly, the lifting of the ban on open-pit mining will help revitalize the economy as we begin to recover from the pandemic by generating additional revenues, royalty fees,  export value, and even more jobs in related industries. These economic prospects can still be realized while we continuously implement strategies to manage and avoid the negative impacts of the open-pit mining method,” he added.  Dominguez said tight monitoring and enforcement to ensure that mines strictly comply with laws and regulations can be done as proven by the operations of thousands of mines worldwide that effectively and safely use the open-pit mining method.  These include open-pit mines in Australia, Canada, China, and the United States (US). Open-pit mining is a globally accepted method that is considered to be the most feasible option for mining near-surface or shallow one deposits.  As observed by the DENR, major issues concerning mining operations, including open-pit mining,  cannot be attributed to the use of the method itself, but rather to accidents involving wastes and tailings confinements, which can be prevented through strict monitoring and regulation of such mining activities.

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Philippine Resources - January 04, 2022

Lifting of open pit ban to boost mining

Photo credit: OceanaGold via Twitter - OceanaGold's mine at Didipio The government said it expects to revitalize not only the mining sector but also the entire economy, with the lifting of the ban on open pit mining. Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu signed a memorandum order on Dec. 23 that effectively reinstates the use of open pit mining method by mining firms. The memo was issued to revitalize the mining industry and create significant economic benefits by providing raw materials for construction and development of other industries; and establish the parameters and criteria on the types of surface mining methods under the Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility. The parameters are expected to address the environmental and safety issues of surface mining methods, particularly with open pit mining. The DENR said the continued restriction on open pit ban might result in grave economic loss for the country. Through the memo, all mining tenement holders will be required to conduct baseline information gathering and evaluation and incorporate them in the mining project feasibility study, for final assessment by the DENR.   Article courtesy of Manila Standard 

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Philippine Resources - December 18, 2021

TVIRD Concludes Acquisition of Siana Gold Project from Red 5 Limited

Photo credit: Mining Journal TVIRD acquires 100% of outstanding GRC shares for a total consideration of US$19 million Red 5 will retain a 3.25% NSR payable on gold sales from succeeding operations at Siana GRC assets include a state-of-the-art processing facility with a throughput capacity of 1.10 million tons per year as well as key infrastructures in the Siana, Mapawa and Ferrer tenements TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD), local affiliate company of Canada’s TVI Pacific Inc. and majority shareholder Prime Asset Ventures Inc., earlier signed a binding agreement with Australia-based listed gold company Red 5 Limited. The agreement pertains to TVIRD’s acquisition of 100 percent of Red 5’s outstanding equity in its Philippine affiliated company, Greenstone Resources Corporation (GRC), which is the owner and operator of the Siana Gold and Mapawa Projects in Tubod, Surigao del Norte Province. The agreement was signed by TVIRD President Engr. Yulo E. Perez and Red 5 Managing Director Mark Williams in July this year. The inked agreement is a landmark deal that underscores the restored investor confidence in the Philippine mining and extractives sector. As of September 20, the company has completed the acquisition of 100 percent of the outstanding equity of GRC. “The acquisition of Greenstone, particularly the Siana Gold Project, dovetails with our group’s long-term growth strategy that is hinged on building a robust mining portfolio staggered across multiple commodities,” according to Perez. Investment agreement “We are likewise encouraged by the current market performance of precious metals as well as the overall positive investment climate for mineral and resource development in the country,” he said. Further to the agreement, TVIRD invested US$19 million in cash to Red 5 to obtain 100 percent of GRC shares. The company also confirmed that the cash portion of the purchase price was funded from internal resources. Parallel to this, Red 5 is entitled to a 3.25 percent net smelter royalty (NSR) to be paid from the sale of up to 619,000 oz. of gold produced from Siana. The recognized NSR value is US$35 million based on a gold price of US$1,750/oz. Project status While the Siana project is currently on voluntary care and maintenance, it holds all the necessary government permits to restart operations, including an Environmental Compliance Certificate and an approved Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility. “The company is currently developing plans to bring Siana back on-stream,” said Perez, citing TVIRD’s plan is to restart operations at Siana as soon as possible. The project site is located in a 3,289-hectare Mineral Production Sharing Agreement area and includes a modern 1.1 million tonne per annum Outotec mill, gravity and Carbon-in-Leach (CIL) mill facility commissioned in 2012 at a capital cost of US$54 million that includes a single stage SAG mill and six CIL tanks. Prior to signing the agreement, Red 5 confirmed that GRC spent over US$200 million in the development of Siana, which has the only modern gold plant in the region. Resources and expansion plans In its 2020 annual report, Red 5 cited a combined historical Indicated JORC12 mineral resource estimate for the Siana open pit and underground mine of 4.3 million tonnes @ 4.6 grams per tonne of gold and 6.8 grams per tonne of silver. It also cited a combined Inferred JORC12 mineral resource estimate of 0.5 million tonnes @ 8.9 grams per tonne of gold and 10.6 grams per ton of silver. In addition to Siana, the agreement also covers the 1,482-hectare Mapawa MPSA and the 595-hectare Ferrer APSA claim. All assets and properties have obtained government approvals and relationships with key stakeholders. The plant receives Grid power with a back-up 8MW diesel fired power station while the project has the necessary infrastructures in place: an administration building, warehouse, mess hall, camp facilities and accommodation, an engineering building and maintenance facilities With the necessary technology, equipment and facilities, there also lies the potential to establish Siana as a processing center for other nearby prospects and gold deposits. TVIRD key officers believe that the Siana and Mapawa tenements hold the potential for exploration. Meantime, Mapawa and Ferrer are in the early stages of exploration. "This represents a strategic acquisition for TVIRD", said TVI Pacific Inc. Chairman and CEO Clifford M. James. "Management and the directors of TVIRD are excited about the acquisition, which coincides with the start-up at Balabag and positive changes in the Philippines Government and financial community attitudes towards mining projects.”

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Philippine Resources - December 17, 2021

790 Million Income Surge for Marcventures Holdings Inc.

Photo credit: Marcventures Marcventures Holdings Inc. (MHI) consolidated income surged to P790.31M with a robust third quarter performance of Marcventures Mining and Development Corp (MMDC). Amid the unstable weather conditions on the first half of the year coupled with the difficulties brought by the pandemic, MHI’s net income rose to P790.31M on the third quarter. With a 30% increase amounting to P183.02M, this brings a solid growth of P627.13M, a 384% rise compared to last year’s income of P163.79M from the same period. MMDC’s YTD Revenue of P2,851.32M is 7% lower than the P3,054.29M target, but shows a major growth of P1,088.57M or 62% increase, side by side with last year’s revenue of P1,762.75M. With significant changes in operations and management and the support of the LGUs and leading government agencies, MMDC completed 25 shipments in the 3rd quarter bringing the year-to-date total to 30. It missed the target of 31 but surpassed last year’s 22 boatloads. The total ore shipment of 1.601M WMT is 6% lower than the target of 1.705M WMT, but 35% higher than last year’s 1,189M WMT shipment. The mining company’s P1,317.56M YTD Cost of Sales posed a 15% dip from its P1,541.30M budget while the increased volume brought about by the efficient sales and production resulted in a 36% increase from last year’s P969.64M. MMDC’s YTD Net Income of P875.73M, posed a 17% rise from the P746.74M target. More importantly, it tripled 2020’s P282.21M a distinct P593.52M increase or 210% year-on-year growth. MMDC’s solid financial standing signifies its commitment to preserve the environment and support its host communities. The company continues to provide livelihood opportunities, educational and health assistance to all 42 communities in the municipalities Cantillan, Carrascal and Madrid, in Surigao del Sur.   Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange

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Philippine Resources - December 17, 2021

Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc.’s net income in the first 3 quarters up 19.4% to P1.86 billion

Photo credit: Global Ferronickel Holdings Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. (FNI), the country’s second-largest nickel ore producer, recorded Q3 net income of P1.22B in 2021 against the P1.36B it posted during the same period last year. This brought total earnings for the first three quarters of the year to P1.86 billion, up 19.4% from the P1.56 billion it posted during the same period last year. Revenues for the first nine months of the year are up 15.3% to P6.41 billion compared to the P5.55 billion during the same period in 2020 buoyed by the higher prices of nickel ore. The sale of nickel ore for the nine months ended September 30, 2021 was 4.228 million WMT, lower by 0.151 million WMT or 3.4%, compared to 4.379 million WMT of nickel ore in the nine months ended September 30, 2020. This is mainly due to bad weather conditions, which allowed the Group to only ship 78 vessels of nickel ore against the 80 vessels during the same period last year. The resulting sales mix was 81% low-grade ore and 19% medium-grade ore in 2021 versus the previous period’s mix of 59% low-grade ore and 41% medium-grade ore. These were exported 100% to China and consisted of 3.424 million WMT low-grade nickel ore and 0.804 million WMT medium-grade nickel ore compared to 2.588 million WMT low-grade nickel ore and 1.791 WMT medium-grade nickel ore for the same period in 2020. “We are happy with the results. Despite the heavy rains hampering operations and more expensive fuel prices, the continued rise of nickel ore prices driven by the strong demand from China will augur well for the industry,” said FNI President Dante R. Bravo. The overall average realized nickel ore price for the period ended 30 September 2021 was US$30.78/WMT compared to US$25.56/WMT for the period ended 30 September 2020, higher by US$5.22/WMT or 20.4%. The price of low-grade ore went up by 35.4% to US$29.79/WMT in 2021 against the 2020 price of US$22.01/ WMT. Medium-grade ore, on the other hand, was US$34.99/WMT or 14.0% higher than the 2020 price of US$30.69/WMT.   Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange

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Philippine Resources - December 17, 2021

APEX MINING REPORTS HIGHER NINE MONTHS REVENUE WINS BIG AT THE SAFEST MINES AWARDS

Photo credit: Apex Mining Apex Mining Co., Inc (APX) wins three top awards in 2021’s edition of the prestigious Safest Mines Awards of the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award: Safest Underground Mining Operation; Most Improved Safety Performance; and, Safety Exploration (Category A). Select employees of APX also garnered Best Personality Awards: Ronnie N. Rojo, Best Underground Safety Inspector; Johary S. Unggel, Best Underground Mine Supervisor; and, Marvin A. Badayos, Best Underground Miner. The PMIEA is part of this year’s 67th Annual Mine Safety and Environment Conference (ANMSEC) and is spearheaded by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). APX prides itself in institutionalizing safety as a way of life, with safety best practices deeply ingrained in its operations. In fact, its Maco Mine was cited by MGB-RXI with the Safety Milestone Award for recording over 2.1 million man-hours without lost time accidents (LTAs) between 11 March and 30 June 2021. For the first half of 2021, the company’s Safety Department initiated 24 training sessions for around 477 participants, furthering its commitment to safety. APX finished the third quarter of 2021 with consolidated revenues of P5.0 billion for the first nine months of 2021, 9% higher than the consolidated revenues of P4.6 billion for the same period in 2020. Parent company likewise posted revenues of P4.7 billion, a 2% increase from P4.6 billion revenues in the same period of 2020. Parent Company’s milling throughput is higher at 514,008 tonnes (averaging at 2,107 tonnes per day) as compared to 491,269 tonnes (averaging at 1,921 tonnes per day) as of September 30, 2020. Gold recovery is at 87.06%, almost the same level compared to last year’s 87.29% recovery. Silver recovery slightly improved to 78.54% against last year’s 76.55% recovery rate. Itogon-Suyoc Resources, Inc., milled a total of 44,140 tonnes during the year (averaging 185 tonnes per day). The higher throughput and average realized gold price of $1,786/oz during the year (versus $1,779/oz last year), neutralized the impact in revenue from the drop in ore grades which averaged 3.45 grams of gold and 19.80 grams of silver per tonne during the period compared to 3.59 grams of gold and 22.38 grams of silver per tonne in the same period last year. The third quarter average ore grade per tonne was higher at 3.93 grams of gold but lower at 20.97 grams of silver, as compared to 3.79 grams of gold and 23.61 grams of silver in the third quarter of 2020. Recovery rate for the quarter slightly declined to 87.85% for gold and 76.50% for silver from 88.77% and 80.37%, respectively. Average realized gold price this quarter was 6% lower at $1,791/oz. as compared to $1,902/oz. in the same quarter in 2020. Silver price also tallied lower at $23.71/oz. from $24.34/oz. previously. Gold and silver sold this quarter was lower at 19,959 ounces and 87,791 ounces compared to 26,031 ounces and 140,240 ounces, respectively, in 2020. The big numbers from the third quarter last year can be explained by inventories affected by the quarantine restrictions and flight cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the first and second quarter of 2020 being subsequently shipped during the third quarter last year. During the period, the Group recognized a provision for impairment of some subsidiary companies’ assets amounting to P1.1 billion as a result of the latest management assessment on the recoverability of property and equipment, intangible assets and deferred mining exploration costs of foreign projects in West Africa and Mongolia, and local projects in Camarines Norte and in Metro Manila. The Gori Hills project located in the Republic of Sierra Leone in West Africa is owned through Monte Oro Mining Co., Ltd. (MOMCL) which holds the tenements for the project. It received word that its tenement license was revoked by the National Mineral Agency. MOMCL will work to question that revocation and for the reinstatement of that license. The Khar At Uui Gold Project, registered under the joint venture company Erdeneminas LLC, which is owned 51% by indirect subsidiary Minas de Oro Mongol LLC (Minas), and 49% by Erdenejas LLC, a Mongolian exploration company, is currently under continued care and maintenance. APX, through Monte Oro Resources & Energy Inc. (MORE), owns Paracale Gold Limited (PGL), an Isles of Man company, which wholly owns Coral Resources Philippines, Inc. (CRPI) and has a 40% interest in Bulawan Mineral Resources Corporation (BMRC). Their mine project is located in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte. BMRC handles all tenement applications while CRPI is the owner/operator of a mineral processing plant. BMRC tenement applications were adversely affected by the freeze on issuance of new mining licenses by the government. The CRPI mineral processing plant remains under continued care and maintenance. APX, through MORE, owns 52% of International Cleanvironment Systems, Inc. (ICSI) which has a Build-Operate-Transfer contract with the Philippine government through the DENR to manage, rehabilitate and introduce ecologically friendly technologies for waste disposal, and recycling of municipal waste in Metro Manila. This BOT agreement is yet to be implemented. APX Management deems it prudent to provide for the impairment of these non-moving subsidiary companies’ assets during this pandemic year. The implementation, redevelopment or sale of these impaired assets in the future will provide upside opportunities to the Company going forward. While the recognition of provision for impairment of these subsidiary companies’ assets did not affect the cash flows of the Group, it brought the nine-month period bottom line to a net loss of P136 million from P991.3 million net income in the similar period in 2020. Parent Company, on the other hand, posted a net income of P994.5 million during the period, 5% lower than the P1.0 billion net income reported in the first three-quarters of 2020.   Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange

Mining

Philippine Resources - December 07, 2021

Taganito Mining is DOLE-Caraga's first 'safety seal' recipient in Surigao Norte

Photo: Engr. Valeroso receives the Safety Seal Certificate from DOLE Caraga RD Suyao Taganito Mining Corp. (TMC), subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC), has been awarded the government's safety seal certification, the first company to be bestowed the recognition in the province. The certification came after a validation and technical inspection by the team from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional and provincial offices on September 2-3, 2021. Led by DOLE-Caraga Director Atty. Joffrey Suyao, the team determined that TMC has complied with the minimum public health standards related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "I want to emphasize the importance of observing our safety and health protocols among our companies, because as long as we operate, the health of our employees depends on it," Atty. Suyao said in the dialect. "If the workers are not healthy, the productivity would surely be affected." According to Suyao, the safety seal certification is a tripartite effort on the part of the workers, the management, and the government "that must all work together for us to achieve a safe and healthy working environment." Suyao said he was impressed upon entering TMC's premises, which involved a series of stringent health protocols for visitors. "We had to go through the safety protocols here, observe proper hand washing, temperature checking, checklist, etcetera. I was really impressed because these are the very things that our government requires," the DOLE-Caraga chief said. Meanwhile, TMC Resident Mine Manager Artemio Valeroso said the certification was "a testament of what we are doing in this establishment. There is a secret why TMC has been operating for a long time: TMC is always taking care of the people, of the community, and of course our employees." "Maintaining a good harmonious relationship with our stakeholders is important to us. Thank you to all of you for supporting TMC, sa ating mga contractors, managers, mining service providers, labor union, and all employees. Kung wala kayo, hindi din magiging ganito si Taganito Mining. We are all partners and we will do it as a team," Engr. Valeroso added. Valeroso vowed that with TMC being granted with the safety seal, "we have to sustain this and continue improving our programs and measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees and we all stay safe, healthy and always bida." The Safety Seal Certification is a voluntary certification scheme that affirms that an establishment is compliant with the minimum public health standards set by the government and uses or integrates its contact tracing with StaySafe.ph (or the SDN contact tracing app). The DOLE issues the Safety Seal for the manufacturing, construction sites, utilities (electric, water, gas, air conditioning supply, sewerage, waste management) information and communication companies (private publication, news, movie production, TV and radio companies), and warehouses. TMC applied for the safety certification as part of the company's commitment to comply beyond the regulatory standards mandated by the government. Among the measures employed by the company include mandatory wearing of face mask and shield, routine temperature checking, installation of foot baths, setup of handwashing facilities and alcohol stations, observance of social distancing and other minimum health protocols.

Mining

Philippine Resources - December 06, 2021

METALLIC MINERAL PRODUCTION VALUE SUSTAINS GROWTH

Metallic mineral production value sustained growth at 22.34% from PhP99.03 billion in January to September 2020 to PhP121.16 billion in January to September 2021, a difference of PhP22.12 billion. The strong metal price coupled with the better mine production of nickel ore during the review period was the vital factor for this development. Prices of leading metals gold, silver, copper, and nickel remained bullish, year-on-year. Precious metals gold and silver reported an average price of US$1,801.97 per troy ounce and US$25.77 per troy ounce from US$1,735.39 per troy ounce and US$19.21 per troy ounce, year-on-year, up by almost US$67 and US$7, respectively. In addition, the nine-month averages for copper and nickel stood tall at US$9,187.81 per metric ton and US$18,035.15 per metric ton, respectively. Copper price went up by 57% from US$5,837.89 per metric ton, while nickel enjoyed a 38% increase from US$13, 059.28 per metric ton. In terms of percentage contribution to the country’s total production value, nickel with the aid of the other nickel by-products, mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide (MNCS) and scandium oxalate (ScOx) continued to outperform the others accounting for more than 58% or PhP70.83 billion. Lagging behind was gold with 31% or PhP37.75 billion, on its tail was copper with almost 10% or PhP11.74 billion. Finally, silver, chromite, and iron ore rounded up less than 1% or PhP0.84 billion. Over the recent years, with the advent of the production of nickel products (MNCS and ScOx) from the operations of Hydrometallurgical Processing Plants Coral Bay Nickel Corporation and Taganito HPAL Corporation, the gap in the contribution between gold and nickel ore with nickel products continued to widen. It was in 2018 when nickel ore & nickel by-products first exceeded gold as the prime contributor in overall, metallic production value. In terms of distribution of Regional production value, Caraga Region had the lion's share with 46.62%, followed by MIMAROPA with 13.79%, and in third was Bicol Region with 12.89%. In terms of the number of operating metallic mines in the Regions. Caraga headed the pack, with two gold mines, one chromite mine, 18 nickel mines, one hydrometallurgical processing plant, and one gold processing plant. Table 1. Distribution of Metallic Production-Value by Region By Pesos & Percentage January-September 2021 Nickel direct shipping ore together with its by-products MNCS and scandium oxalate remained true to form, as it displayed dominance over other metals. Production value went up from PhP50.72 billion to PhP70.83 billion, an almost 40% or PhP20.11 billion increase. Production volume and value of nickel direct shipping ore recorded 29% and 67%, respectively from 253,204 metric tons with an estimated value of PhP27.66 billion to 325,848 metric tons with an estimated value of PhP46.05 billion year-on-year. Breaking it down further, in terms of mine regional production Caraga Region the nickel capital hub of the Philippines accounted for 76% with 248,001 metric tons, followed by MIMAROPA with 17% or 54,936 metric tons while Regions III and VIII accounted for 6% or 18,939 metric tons and 1% or 3,971 metric tons, respectively. Emir Mineral Resources Corporation located at Guiuan, Eastern Samar is the latest addition to the roster of producing nickel mines in the country. Moreover, the production volume and value of ScOx, a by-product in the operation of Taganito THPAL recorded a production volume and value of 12,504 dry-kilograms with an estimated value of PhP0.32 billion, a 23% and 18% growth from its previous 10,199 dry-kilograms with an estimated value of PhP0.27 billion, year-on-year. On the other hand, MNCS performance was diverse as production volume declined by 13% from 39,708 metric tons to 34,678 metric tons, year-on-year. Production value, however, rose by 7% from PhP22.80 billion to PhP24.46 billion. Performance of the yellow metal remained consistent with production volume and value demonstrating positive movement from 12,973 kilograms with an estimated value of PhP36.40 billion to 13,356 kilograms with an estimated value of PhP37.75 billion, up by 384 kilograms and PhP1.35 billion, respectively. In terms of mine output, Bicol Region held the rein with 40.89% or 5,462 kilograms of the country’s gold production. Philippine Gold Processing and Refining Corporation and Joshon Mining Corporation are the current gold mines in the region. Cordillera Administrative Region was in far second accounting for 15.10% or 2,017 kilograms. Said region has three gold mines, Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation, Benguet Corporation –Acupan Contract Mining Project, ItogonSuyoc Mines, Inc., and 10 approved Minahang Bayan. Out of the 10 MB only Loacan Itogon Pocket Miners Association reported production. CAR was closely followed by Caraga with 14.91% or 1,991 kilograms. Said Region has two gold mines, Philsaga Mining Corporation (PMC) and Greenstone Resources Corporation (GRC). Only PMC recorded production, GRC is still under Care & Maintenance status. Other regions with gold mines include II, XI, VII, and XII. Overall silver production volume, dip by 5% from 17,853 kilograms to 16,875 kilograms year-on-year. While production value grew by 24% from PhP0.54 billion to PhP0.68 billion. The substantial PhP0.13 billion rise in value despite the 978 kilograms shortfall in volume was due to the upbeat silver price from US$19.21 per troy ounce to US$25.77 per troy ounce year-on-year, up by US$6.55. For copper production, we saw copper volume slip by 18% from 46,520 metric tons to 38,025 metric tons, down by 8,945 metric tons both Philex Mining Corporation and Carmen Copper Corporation incurred deficit. The production value on the other hand enjoyed a 7% increase from PhP10.95 billion to PhP11.74 billion, year-on-year, up by PhP0.79 billion. The bullish metal price during the period made this possible. Another optimistic development is the renewal of the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement of OceanaGold (Phils) Inc. last July 2021, its re-entry to the production stream will naturally boost not only copper but also gold and silver output. Noteworthy, in August 2021 OGPI reported a total sales for gold and silver amounting to PhP105.86 million bound to Australia. The ore sold came from their inventory. On the iron ore production, only Leyte Ironsand Project of MacArthur Iron Projects Corp/Strongbuilt Mining & Development Corp. reported production with 28,474 dry metric tons with an estimated value of PhP77.99 million. Same period last year Atro Mining Vitali Iron Inc. was the sole producer. On chromite production, volume and value went down by 59% and 63% from 26,265 dry metric tons with an estimated value of PhP234.34 million to 10,816 dry metric tons with an estimated value of PhP86.64 million year-on-year. Only Techiron Resources Inc. reported production. For each commodity, the frontrunners in terms of mine production were: On the local front, the passage of critical and long overdue policies has created an optimistic buzz in the minerals sector. Such policies include: DAO 2021-12 (Guidelines for the Automatic Renewal of the Exploration Period and the Timely Filing of Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility Under the Exploration Permit, MPSA, FTAA, and Similar Mining Tenements); EO 130 (Amending Section 4 of Executive No. 79, S. 2012, Institutionalizing and Implementing Reforms in the Philippine Mining Sector, Providing Policies and Guidelines to Ensure Environmental Protection and Responsible Mining in the Utilization of Mineral Resources); DAO 2021-25 (Implementing Rules and Regulations of Executive Order No. 130, Amending Section 4 of EO No. 79, S. 2012). Major features of the DAO include: (1) Lifting of the moratorium in the acceptance of applications for Mineral Agreement pursuant to DAO No. 2010-21; (2) Approved DMPF under the EP may now mature into Mineral Agreement subject to compliance with certain requirements; and (3) Paved way for the review of the pro-forma MPSA and renegotiation of existing ones.; and DAO 2021-29 (Extended Application Period for the Disposition of Residual Stockpiles) the application period for the disposition of residual stockpiles sourced from small-scale mining operation previously covered by valid mining permits is extended until 31 December 2022.   It is important to highlight that out of the total land area of the Philippines of 30 million hectares, the total area covered by mining tenements as of 31 October 2021 is only 745,685.48 hectares or 2.48%. This only pertains to the permits issued by the national government and does not include the permits issued by the local government. Moreover, with the EO 130, the government can now approve Mineral Agreements. To date, there are 313 approved Mineral Production Sharing Agreements with a total land area of about 576,482.65 hectares. It should be emphasized that said area is still subject to the mandatory relinquishment by contractors as provided by law. In addition, the MGB is working diligently on the formalization and declaration of the new Minahang Bayan. At this time, 43 MB was already been declared all over the country with 170 pending applications. Among the declared Minahang Bayan, there are 13 under the Luzon area, 3 in Visayas, and 27 in Mindanao. For metallic minerals, commodities will be limited only to gold, silver, and chromite and shall have a term of two years, renewable for like periods but not to exceed a total term of six years. With MB very much in the scene, we are optimistic that gold, silver, and chromite production will rise. Table 2. Philippines Metallic Mineral Production January-September 2021 vs January-September 2020   Article courtesy of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau

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