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Strong 3rd quarter metals output points to solid 2022

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said metallic minerals production for the second half of the year is continue the sector’s strong performance in the third quarter.

“It’s very promising as you know for this year. We don’t have the exact figures for the final semester yet but in the first semester, we have noticed the uptick in revenue,” Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga told reporters on Wednesday. 

In the third quarter, metallic mineral production rose 29.2% year on year to P39.79 billion, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

The increase was driven by strong nickel ore and gold prices as well as increased volumes of gold, silver, chromite, and iron in the third quarter. Nickel ore prices rose 47.2% year on year to $11.97 per pound.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said gold prices rose 1.36% year on year to $1,826.47 per troy ounce during the period. However, prices of silver and copper declined 14.8% and 0.64%, respectively.

Nickel ore and its nickel by-products, nickel-cobalt sulfide, and scandium oxalate accounted for much of the metal output at P86.94 billion or 49.4%, gold took up a 38.3% share with P67.45 billion; copper 10.8% at P18.99 billion; and silver, chromite, and iron 1.5% at P2.63 billion.

In the nine months to September, prices of nickel surpassed the 2018 to 2021 levels, peaking in March at $17.14 per round.

“We need to be able to enjoy this economic gain while also balancing the environmental side of the mining industry. For our outlook for the final semester, I cannot give you the figures yet but it is quite positive,” Ms. Yulo-Loyzaga said.

In a report, the MGB said that it is relying on small-scale mining to boost the industry, Ms. Yulo-Loyzaga said the DENR is hoping that the review of mining laws will help small-scale miners. — Ashley Erika O. Jose