MANILA, Philippines - Metal production fell 14 percent to P48 billion in the first semester due to the sluggish metal price movement in the world market, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau reported.
The aggregate value of metal production for January to June this year was lower than the P56 billion recorded in the same period in 2015.
Direct shipping nickel ore and mixed nickel-cobalt sulfides, which used to account for half of total metal production value, suffered a 43 percent drop to P16.1 billion.
“In general, the poor showing of the nickel ore and nickel product producers during the period led to the lackluster performance of the metallic minerals industry,” the MGB said.
The decline was also affected by the zero production of Wellex Mining (Wellex Area II nickel mining project), Oriental Vision Mining Philippines, (Palhi nickel project) and Westernshore Nickel (Libjo project-phase 2) due to poor metal prices and ongoing care and maintenance works during the period.
Major nickel producers Rio Tuba Mining, Taganito Mining, Platinum Group Metals, and SR Metals all incurred production setback both in volume and value.
Revenues from copper production, which comprise 19 percent of total metal production value, went down six percent to P9 billion.
Nickel price dropped to $3.92 per pound from $6.16 per pound, while copper price declined from $2.66 per pound to $2.13 per pound.
On the other hand, gold production accounted for 47 percent of the total output with aggregate earnings of P22.7 billion, or an increase of 31 percent.
Gold metal price was up by almost one percent to $1,217.85 per troy ounce.
The production value of silver likewise grew 38 percent to P433 million despite the decline in prices from $16.59 per troy ounce to $15.78 per troy ounce.
The remaining one percent of total metallic production or P470 million came from the combined value of silver, iron ore and chromite.
MGB said the outlook for the industry remains challenging given the government’s all out war against illegal mining.