THE country’s biggest gold producer Philex Mining Corp. on Wednesday said its net income more than doubled last year on the back of stronger production coupled with higher metal prices in the world market and favorable exchange rates.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Philex said that its net income reached P1.56 billion in 2016, up from P776 million in the previous year, while core net income amounted to P1.657 billion, up 83 percent from the previous year.
Revenues increased 12 percent to P10.27 billion, with copper accounting for P3.98 billion and gold contributing P6.2 billion. Revenues from silver amounted to P86.5 million, up 24 percent from 2015 levels.
The average realized price for copper was 3 percent higher at $2.35 per pound, which complemented the increase in copper output. The average gold price, on the other hand, was 9 percent higher at $1,254 per ounce, which more than offset the lower gold output. Meanwhile, foreign exchange rates averaged P47.80/$1 in 2016 against P45.31/$1 the previous year.
Copper concentrate production in 2016 of 73,107 dry metric tons (DMT) was the highest recorded since 2008 and was attributed to operational improvements.
Its Padcal mine operated for 362 days during the period, compared to just 358 days in the previous year; and milled 9.4 million tonnes of ore. The tonnage translated to 35 million pounds of copper produced, which was 3 percent more than the previous year’s 34.1 million pounds. Gold production reached 103,304 ounces.
Based on the 2016 results, Philex declared a cash dividend of P0.04 per share to shareholders of record on March 14, 2017, which will be payable on March 27, 2017.
Meanwhile, Philex said that definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its Silangan project is expected to be completed soon and its wholly owned subsidiary, Silangan Mindanao Mining Co., Inc. (SMMCI) will be able to proceed to the next stages of project development.
“Contrary to media pronouncements, we are confident that Silangan’s MPSA [Mineral Production Sharing Agreement] is valid and legal because it is not within any proclaimed watershed forest reserves or critical watersheds, where mining is prohibited, and was issued following all relevant legal requirements and procedures, including regulatory clearance, that the area covered by the MPSA is open to mining and DENR took its action and made its announcement with no legal basis whatsoever,” said SMMCI President Yulo Perez.
“Specifically, we contributed P117 million to our Social Development Management Program (SDMP) in 2016, which was 7 percent more than what we laid out in 2015. Since 2011, we have funded P454 million for our SDMP projects to further our goal of financial inclusion and social progress within our areas of operation,” Perez added.
In addition, Perez said SMMCI contributed P447 million to its Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (EPEP) initiatives last year, which included the reforestation of 52 hectares of new areas, maintenance of 150 hectares of existing plantations, care over 75 hectares of agro-forestry land and planting of around 180,000 new seedlings of various species in upland and coastal areas.
“This brought our total outlays to P2.158 billion from 2011-16 to ensure that the natural surroundings around our areas of operations are maintained and restored,” said Eulalio Austin, Jr. President and CEO of Philex Mining Corporation.
In 2016, the company said it paid a total of P1.91 billion in taxes, royalties, SDMP, EPEP and other fees to the national and local governments and the surrounding communities, which was 22 percent higher than the reported net income for the period.