• Apex Mining swings to profit on higher output

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    LISTED firm Apex Mining Co. Inc. returned to profitability in the first nine months of the year on the back of higher gold and silver production, which offset continued weakness in metal prices.

    Apex told the Philippine Stock Exchange that it earned P76.4 million in the January to September period, a turnaround from the net loss of P361 million it reported last year.

    Consolidated revenue for the first three quarters amounted to P1.8 billion, higher by 51 percent from a year ago.

    The company said higher gold and silver production led to the improvement in its bottom line.

    In January to September 2015, gold production reached 30,995 ounces while silver production reached 164,818 ounces. Last year, the company produced 19,062 ounces of gold and 108,638 ounces of silver.

    Walter Brown, Apex president and chief executive officer, said that higher metals production more than offset the decline in average metal prices, which fell to $1,192 per ounce gold and $16 per ounce silver this year from the average prices of $1,282 per ounce gold and $20 per ounce silver in 2014.

    “Production throughput would have been better were it not for the operational problems and power outages experienced this quarter,” Brown said.

    “The ability of the mines to adjust and cope with the exigencies of the time has been demonstrated by the fact that in the month of August, the mine has produced its highest monthly gold output of 4,536 ounces in its operating history thus far,” he added.

    Apex has recently filed the Maco mine’s updated reports on its outstanding mineral resources and ore reserves as certified to and qualified under the Philippine Mineral Reporting Code, showing slightly higher mineral resources of 2.56 million tonnes grading 5.6 grams of gold per tonne, and ore reserves of 1.21 million tonnes grading 7.86 grams of gold per tonne.

    To date this year, capital expenditures at the Maco mine, including exploration and mine development, amounted to P1.5 billion as compared to the budget of P1.9 billion for the year.

    “We are pleased to report that on October 26, 2015, the ball mill of the Sangilo mine started to roll again, a significant milestone from about two decades of inactivity since the suspension of its operations in 1996,” Brown said.

    “We are on schedule in achieving our objective to operating at 200 tons a day by middle of next year,” the executive added.

    The resumption of operations of the Sangilo mine in Itogon is a prelude to the operation likewise of the Suyoc mine in Mankayan, both in the province of Benguet, following the company’s acquisition of Itogon-Suyoc Resources, Inc. in June 2015.

    Apex Mining’s financial results include those of subsidiary Monte Oro Resources & Energy Inc (MORE), which the former acquired last October.

    MORE operates the Maco mine in Compostela Valley and a processing plant in Camarines Norte Province. It also holds 30 percent of Service Contract 72, which contains the Sampaguita gas field northwest of Palawan Province.

    Outside the Philippines, MORE operates mines in Mongolia, Myanmar, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

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