Philippines mineral output to sustain growth

Jasper Emmanuel Arcalas - The Philippine Star
Philippines mineral output to sustain growth
The country’s mineral output is seen increasing further this year.
STAR / File

Driven by strong global demand for gold, copper

MANILA, Philippines — The value of the country’s mineral output this year is expected to surpass last year’s P249 billion, driven by the rising demand for gold amid persisting geopolitical tensions, according to an industry group.

Chamber of Mines of the Philippines chairman Michael Toledo said mining companies are expanding due to higher global demand for key metals, particularly gold and copper.

“A lot of people are going to gold because it is a safe haven. (With) the problems happening in Ukraine, in Palestine and of course even in the Red Sea, (people will go to gold),” Toledo told reporters recently.

“And then, copper, at the end of the day, would really be a crucial component for renewables,” Toledo said.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said the country’s metal production was valued at P249 billion in 2023, buoyed by higher gold and nickel output.

Last year’s production was almost five percent higher than the previous year’s P237.7 billion.

Data showed that gold was the top contributor to the overall production at P106.64 billion, followed by nickel ore at P65.84 billion.

Last year’s value of gold production went up by 17 percent from P91.05 billion in 2022. The country produced 31,046 kilograms of gold in 2023, up by seven percent from 29,036 kilograms in 2022.

The MGB attributed the hike in the country’s gold output to higher global prices and the resumption of operation of one gold mine last year.

It said gold prices rose by 7.8 percent to $1,942.8 per troy ounce in 2023 from $1,802.28 per troy ounce in 2022.

Toledo, however, noted that nickel has been experiencing a slowdown in demand due to the weakening of China’s economy.

Dante Bravo, president of the Philippine Nickel Industries Association shared the same sentiments when it comes to nickel production this year.

Bravo expects a drop in production, as the projected lower nickel prices this year would discourage miners to produce more.

“We are looking at lower volumes this year,” Bravo said.

The country produced 35.14 million dry metric tons of nickel ore in 2023, 19 percent more than the 29.42 million dry metric tons in 2022.

Bravo said a glut in global nickel supply would continue to persist on the back of higher output and exports from Indonesia, which he pointed out is “flooding the market.”

The situation is worsened by China’s weak demand for nickel due to its economic slowdown, Bravo said.

“And electronic vehicle (EV) sales have plateaued. But these are a combination of things that drove the prices down,” he told reporters recently.

Nickel is a primary raw material for batteries used in EVs.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with