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Mining production falls 7.8% to P45.9b

Mineral production fell 7.8 percent year-on-year in the first half, amid lower commodity prices in the world market, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau said Monday. MGB director Leo Jasareno said the value of metallic production in the January-June period reached P45.9 billion, down from P49.8 billion recorded in the same period last year. Jasareno said direct shipping ore and mixed sulfides accounted for 41 percent of the total production valued at P19 billion. Gold accounted for 34 percent or P15.6 billion, followed by copper with 22 percent or P10 billion.  The remaining 3 percent, or P1.34 billion, was shared by silver, zinc, chromite and iron. “Dictated by the less upbeat world metal prices, the precious metals gold and silver, and the base metals copper and nickel, all recorded negative movements during the review period,” Jasareno said. The average price of gold declined 7.7 percent from $1,651.69 per troy ounce last year to $1,524.52 per troy ounce this year. Jasareno said despite the lower prices, demand from India and Greater China (China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) remained strong. The six-month averages for copper and nickel also went down by 7.5 percent and 13.13percent, respectively. Copper price slipped from $3.66 to $3.39 per pound, while nickel price fell from $8.34 to $7.25 per pound. Jasareno said two new projects joined the production stream in the first half, including the Didipio project of Oceanagold (Philippines) Inc. in Nueva Vizcaya and the Guinabon nickel project of LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc. and Filipinas Mining Corp. in Zambales. “The commencement of commercial operation of Oceanagold Philippines Inc. is very significant, as the company holds the first financial or technical assistance agreement approved by the government on June 20, 1994,” Jasareno said.
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