Feb. 28--The country's biggest gold producer Philex Mining Corp. swung back to profit in 2013 as its metal output increased following the resumption of operations of its Padcal Mine in Benguet province.
The company on Thursday reported a net income of P312.4 million, reversing the net loss of P310.8 million it incurred in 2012.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Philex said the return to profitability came after the Padcal Mine resumed operations. The mine was in operation for almost 10 months last year compared to just seven months in 2012.
Philex said consolidated revenue reached P10.462 billion, up 15 percent from the previous year's P9.137 billion.
However, core net income slipped to P1.508 billion from P1.689 billion in 2012 as higher metal output was offset by lower metal prices.
"Higher operating days at the mine enabled the company to produce bigger volumes of metal. However, this was partially offset by lower realized prices of metal in the world market," Philex said in its disclosure.
Gold output rose 40 percent from a year earlier to 99,802 ounces, resulting in a 13-percent increase in revenue to P5.582 billion despite a 21-percent drop in the average realized gold price of $1,297 per ounce.
Copper production increased 46 percent to 32.49 million pounds, contributing P4.580 billion in revenues amid lower average realized copper price of $3.27 per pound.
Revenue from silver, coal, petroleum and other metals--which accounted for the remaining 3 percent of total revenues--dipped to P300.4 million from P325.6 million in 2012.
With Philex Mining back in the black, the board of directors also approved the declaration of a cash dividend of P0.05 per share to shareholders of record as of March 12, 2014.
Eulalio Austin Jr., Philex Mining president and chief executive officer, said that the company will continue to pursue strategic growth and expansion in the medium term.
To achieve this, the company plans to optimize production from existing assets, explore possible partnerships on exploration programs and pursue value-adding acquisitions to boost aggregate output as well as financial and operating performance, Austin said.
"This year's achievements are quite remarkable, especially when taken in the context of the current very challenging business environment--particularly the general attitude toward mining," he said.
"We are pleased to fulfill our commitment to the rehabilitation of tailings storage facility No.3, and are grateful for the confidence of our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders who have stayed with us on our path to recovery," Austin added.
Earlier, Philex Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said the company has filed an application with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau for the permanent resumption of operations at Padcal, after more than a year of rehabilitation and clean-up operations in the areas affected by the tailings leak from its tailings pond facility.
Meanwhile, Philex said that mine development for the Silangan project in Surigao del Norte is moving forward, following endorsements from the host local government units and the securing of environmental compliance certificates last year.
Metallurgical studies for the Silangan project are also advancing to determine the optimal process for higher metal recovery, while more detailed hydrogeological studies have also been undertaken.
Located in Northern Mindanao, the Silangan project combines the development of the Boyongan and Bayugo deposits, through Silangan Mindanao Mining Co. Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Philex.
SMMCI president and chief operating officer Yulo Perez said that the company is currently prioritizing the completion of its pre-feasibility study by mid2014.
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