By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The country’s highly scrutinized mining industry didn’t make too much noise last year, but they sure made some profit, thanks to higher price and output.
A data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) showed that the value of the country’s mineral output settled at ₱131 billion in 2019, an increase of 7.03 percent from the ₱122.14 billion recorded in the previous year.
This was driven by the collective production value of nickel ore and its products, mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide (MNCS) and scandium oxalate. Combined, their output value grew by as much as 15 percent or ₱8.34 billion from ₱55.38 billion to ₱63.71billion.
Altogether, the nickel group accounted almost 49 percent of the total metallic production value in 2019, while gold contributed 36 percent.
Copper came in third with 14 percent share, while the remaining 1 percent came from the combined output of silver and chromite. There has been no reported production for iron ore during the year.
To be specific, total nickel ore production and its value rose by 1 percent and 11 percent, respectively, from 25.92 million dry metric tons (DMT) with an estimated value of ₱28.61 billion to 26.21 million DMT with an estimated value of ₱31.65 billion.
The 11 percent or ₱3.05 billion surge in value, according to MGB, can be attributed to the better nickel price level in 2019 from US$13,103.36 per tonne to US$13,897.85 per tonne.
For gold production, despite the negligible 0.6 percent increase in volume from 20,765 kilograms to 20,646 kilograms, the value went up by 6 percent or ₱2.55 billion from ₱44.81 billion to ₱47.36 billion.