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Philex earnings soar 645% on higher gold, copper prices

Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - February 27, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Philex Mining Corp. reported a 645 percent jump in its core net income in 2020, driven by the uptrend in gold and copper prices.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Philex said core net income soared to P1.16 billion from P156 million in 2019.

Operating revenues jumped 15 percent to P7.8 billion from P6.79 billion.

“Sustained increase in the prices of gold and copper continued to drive the revenues of the company,” Philex said.

Realized gold prices were at their highest level in the third quarter, reaching $1,915 per ounce, while copper reached $3.43 per pound in December 2020.

“The favorable and continuing positive trend of the prices of gold and copper provide the backdrop for the company to take advantage of this favorable business environment, operate profitably and pursue its mission for the benefit of its stakeholders,” Philex said.

Tonnage milled from the first to third quarters of 2020 averaged at 1.985 million tons per quarter. This, however declined to 1.881 million tons in the fourth quarter due to a three- day temporary suspension of underground operations due the necessary COVID-19 mass testing of miners.

Despite the virus-related temporary shutdown, gold production grew to 56,000 ounces, from 53,064 ounces in 2019.

Similarly, the company produced 26.38 million pounds of copper, higher than the 25.74 million pounds produced the year before.

Philex produced a total of 56,000 ounces of gold and 26.379 million pounds of copper, higher than full year 2019 production of 53,064 ounces of gold and 25.737 million pounds of copper.

Operating cost and expenses declined nine percent to P6.3 billion from P6.9 billion in 2019.

As an export-oriented business, the company was one of several companies given full support by both local and national government agencies.

“Thankfully enough, Philex as an export-oriented company was permitted to operate by government despite the community quarantine, providing revenues to allow us to concentrate on our three most important  constituents: the health and financial well-being of our employees; maintaining service excellence to our customers; and assistance to the government in caring for those most affected,”Philex chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

He emphasized that in spite of the challenges brought by the pandemic, Philex would continue to provide value to its shareholders.

“Mining shall and always will be a key economic driver towards inclusive national growth. Mining has the potential to provide much-needed revenue for the government’s response against the pandemic, particularly in the purchase of vaccines, if it be allowed to flourish,” Pangilinan said.

Moreover, Philex said its management will continue to focus on its strategy of optimizing the Padcal mine while aggressively pursuing and working with its financial advisor to identify and sign up a strategic business partner to put its Silangan project into stream.

“The pandemic has slowed down the global business climate and M&A transactions. The various interested investors to our Silangan project is no exception, “ Philex president and chief operating officer Eulalio Austin Jr. said.

“However, the recent positive trend in prices, and long term outlook for gold and copper have significantly increased the interest of the global investors in our Silangan project amid pandemic,” he said.

Austin said the company is working closely with its financial advisor to bring Silangan into operation in the soonest possible time and at the same time optimizing the Padcal mine.

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