The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said that metal production value of the Philippines decreased by 10.69% to P24.86 billion in the first quarter as some of the mining operations stopped due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The main driver of the decline was the zero production at the Didipio gold project of OceanaGold Phils. Inc. in Nueva Vizcaya, which is one of the country’s major mines, according to a report.
Gold shared the most mineral production value with a 43 percent share at P10.66 billion; second is the direct-shipping nickel ore and mixed nickel cobalt sulfide at 41% or P10.29 billion; copper at 15% or P3.69 billion, and combined silver and chromite output with 0.9% or P221.31 million.
The price of rose gold as well as nickel went up by 21.5 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.
Gold output decreased by 27.5 percent, while silver went down by a quarter to 6,335 kilos.
“The Masbate Gold Project of Filminera Mining Corp. and the Philippine Gold Processing and Refining Corp. in Masbate was at the forefront with 1,396 kilograms valued at P3.61 billion, accounting for 34% of the country’s total gold mine output,” MGB said.
MGB added that the production of nickel ore fell 27 percent from a year earlier to 28,006 metric tons.
Copper production also fell by 17.1% to 16,035 metric tons in the first quarter.