Listed firm Apex Mining Co. Inc. said on Wednesday that it expects to increase by threefold the capacity of its processing plant at the Maco mine in Compostela Valley by end of the year.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Apex said that the processing capacity of the mill will be expanded to about 3,000 metric tons (MT) per day by yearend, from the current 850MT a day.
“The plant construction, started in June 2012, has reached 36 percent of physical completion, while civil works and structures are ready for the equipment installation,” said Benoit de Galbert, Apex Mining chairman.
Galbert also said that the company intends to gradually increase ore production over the next two years to lower the production cost.
The official also noted that new production zones within the mine are also being identified.
Baiverth Diabo, Apex Mining president, said that the company was able to generate cash from operations, despite net losses in 2012 and first quarter of 2013, to continue funding the expansion project.
For the first quarter of 2013, Apex mining reported a net loss of P29.2 million, from a net profit of P50.2 million during the same period last year, because of lower peso-dollar exchange rate and weaker prices of gold and silver.
In an earlier disclosure, the company said that in the first quarter, its sales fell by 10 percent to P402 million against P445 million in the same period last year. The realized gold price per ounce (oz) for the first quarter of 2013 was placed at an average of $1,616 against $1,672 in the same period last year.
The volume of gold shipped during the period totaled 5,733 oz against 5,612 oz in the same period last year. Realized silver price per ounce for the first quarter averaged $30.0 against $32.1. The volume of silver shipped during the period totaled 30,311 oz against 24,465 oz shipped in the same period last year.