PH metals output down, but value up at P121.16 B

Published November 24, 2021, 1:43 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

The Philippines’ production of metallic minerals were mostly down during the first nine months of the year, but value was higher at P121.16 billion due to continuing increase in prices in the world market.

Data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) showed that the country’s metallic mineral production value went up by 22.34 percent from P99.03 billion in January to September last year to P121.16 billion during the same period this year.


“The strong metal price coupled with the better mine production of nickel ore during the review period was the vital factor for this development. Prices of leading metals gold, silver, copper, and nickel remained bullish, year-on-year,” MGB said.

However, only gold and nickel direct shipping ore registered growth in production from January to September. The rest – silver, copper, chromite, iron ore, etc. – all had lower output.

In terms of percentage contribution to the country’s total production value and its by-products continued to outperform the others accounting for more than 58 percent or P70.83 billion of the total output.

Lagging behind was gold with 31-percent share or P37.75 billion to the total metals output, followed by copper with almost 10-percent share or P11.74 billion. Silver, chromite, and iron ore rounded up less than 1 percent of the total production or P0.84 billion.

During the period, nickel direct shipping ore’s volume and value went up by 29 percent and 67 percent, respectively, from 253,204 metric tons (MT) valued at P27.66 billion to 325,848 MT valued at P46.05 billion year-on-year. Nickel’s by-products include mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide (MNCS) and scandium oxalate (ScOx).

Meanwhile, performance of the yellow metal remained consistent with production volume and value, demonstrating positive movement from 12,973 kilograms with an estimated value of P36.40 billion to 13,356 kilograms with an estimated value of P37.75 billion.

This, while silver production volume dipped by 5 percent from 17,853 kilograms to 16,875 kilograms year-on-year. Its production value, however, grew by 24 percent from P0.54 billion to P0.68 billion.

On chromite production, volume and value went down by 59 percent and 63 percent from 26,265 dry MT with an estimated value of P234.34 million to 10,816 dry MT with an estimated value of P86.64 million year-on-year.

In terms of prices, precious metals gold and silver reported an average price of US$1,801.97 per troy ounce and US$25.77 per troy ounce, respectively.

This, while nine-month price averages for copper and nickel stood tall at $9,187.81 per MT and $18,035.15 per MT, respectively.

Copper price, on the other hand, went up by 57 percent from $5,837.89 per MT, while nickel enjoyed a 38 percent increase from $13, 059.28 per MT.

The Philippines is one of the world’s most highly mineralized countries. Right now, however, the total area covered by mining tenements as of 31 October 2021 is only 745,685.48 hectares or 2.48 percent of the country’s total land area of 30 million hectares.