LISTED gold producer Philex Mining Corp. said Thursday its core net income in the first quarter rose 18 percent from a year earlier to P458 million, driven mainly by higher metal prices although partly offset by lower metal output.
Philex said its Padcal mine milled 1.998 million metric tons of ore for 88 days during the first quarter against the 2.325 million MT milled in 2016. It said the lower tonnage was due to fewer operating days and equipment availability issues.
“The company initiated measures to improve metal recovery, by enhancing the flotation process, to offset the lower milling tonnage,” it said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).
In particular, it said the metal recovery rate for copper increased to 84 percent while the recovery rate for gold rose to 83 percent. As a result, first quarter tonnage yielded 7.752 million pounds of copper and 22,451 ounces of gold, Philex said.
Consolidated revenues amounted to P2.54 billion, up from P2.39 billion a year ago due to improved metal prices and favorable exchange rates.
Average realized copper prices reached $2.77 per pound from $2.25 per pound in the same period last year, while average realized gold prices rose to $1,264 per ounce from $1,239 per ounce last year.
Revenue from copper rose to P1.09 billion from P946 million a year earlier, while revenue from gold was flat at P1.426 billion. Revenues from silver rose to P21.9 million from P16.8 million previously, as the average realized price went up to $18 per ounce from $15 per ounce last year.
Philex said consolidated costs and expenses rose slightly to P1.668 billion from P1.641 billion a year earlier, while income from operations for the period rose 24 percent to P668 million.
But it incurred net other charges of P55 million, basically due to the impact of the peso depreciation on the company’s dollar-denominated loans, compared with a net other income of P89 million a year earlier.
It said net income improved 3 percent to P432 million from P420 million in the same period last year, while its net income attributable to the parent company, which was same as net income after the deconsolidation of PXP Energy Corp. last year, improved one percent from the previously recorded P426 million.
“The company also sustained its debt repayment strategy and retired $4 million out of its outstanding short-term bank debt during the period. This reduced the parent company’s total short-term debt to $58.0 million as of end-March this year,” Philex said.