Mineral output plunges 18.85% in Jan to Sept

Posted at 12/29/12 8:03 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Total mineral production value in the first nine months of the year fell 18.85 percent to P79.52 billion from P97.99 billion in the same period last year because of the suspension of several mines and lower gold purchases made by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the period, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

Data from the mines bureau showed that gold production suffered a 54-percent production slowdown, with the volume of production from January to September falling to 12,369 kilograms from 26,976 in the same period last year. The value of gold production for the period fell 50 percent to P27 billion from P53.66 billion in the same period last year.

Mines bureau director Leo Jasareno said metal production for the first nine months of the year was affected by the suspension of the copper-gold mine in Padcal, Benguet because of the tailings spill; the Nonoc Island Nickel project because of unsettled obligations to the government of Shuley Mine Inc., and the magnetite operations of Nicua Corp. because of environmental violations.

The production value of metal output for the period was affected by lower gold purchases by the BSP as small scale miners sold less gold to the BSP because of the imposition of a seven- percent gold tax.

The value of BSP gold purchases from small scale miners fell 94 percent in the first nine months of the year to P2 billion from P32.71 billion in the same period last year. The volume of gold purchases likewise fell 94 percent to 945 kilograms from

January to September from 16, 724 kilograms in the same period last year.

The BSP has five gold buying station in Baguio City, Davao City, Zamboanga City, Naga City and Quezon City.

In terms of contribution to the total mineral production value, nickel outperformed the other metals with a 47 percent contribution with a production value of P37.36 billion.

Jasareno said nickel production was boosted by the approval of operations of the nickel mines of Pilipinas Mining Corp in Zambales and Oriental Vision Mining Corp in Dinagat.

Gold contributed 34 percent to the total production value.

Copper comprised a 16 percent share in the total production value at P12.51 billion from the previous P14.14 billion.

Other metals such as silver, chromite, zinc and iron comprised three percent of the total production value placed at P2.64 billion for the period.