Owing to higher gold and silver output Philippines company Apex Mining Co. reported a sharp turnaround in its earnings for the first nine months of 2015. For the period ending September 30 consolidated net income amounted to P76.4 million, a turnaround of P437.4 million from the consolidated net loss of P361 million in the same period of 2014.

The parent company’s net income was P133.7 million before reflecting a net loss from subsidiaries of P57.3 million. Despite continued weakness in metal prices, revenue for the third quarter amounted to P605.9 million, 22% above the 2014 figure. Revenue for the nine months amounted to P1.8 billion, higher by 51%.

Production output in the three quarter was higher at 30,995 ounces of gold and 164,818 ounces of silver compared to the 19,062 ounces of gold and 108,638 ounces of silver produced in the same period of 2014. This more than offset the decline in average metal prices to $1192 an ounce of gold and $16 an ounce of silver from the average prices of $1282 an ounce and $20 an ounce in 2014.

“Production throughput would have been better were it not for the operational problems and power outages experienced in the third quarter,” said Apex Mining president and CEO Walter Brown.

“The ability of the mines to adjust and cope with the exigencies of the time has been demonstrated by the fact that in August, the mine produced its highest ever monthly gold output of 4536 ounces.”

Ore milled during the period increased to 226,723 tonnes from 167,386 tonnes in 2014. Ore grade likewise averaged higher at 5.69 grams/tonne gold and 33.96 grams/tonne silver this year, from 4.68 grams/tonne gold and 29.19 grams/tonne silver last year.

The higher tonnage and ore grade resulted in a 33% improvement in cash production cost per ounce of gold to $721 from $1071 in 2014, net of credit from silver revenue. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization amounted to P522.1 million in the first nine months of 2015, compared to P72.1 million in 2014.

Apex Mining also 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. This showed slightly higher mineral resources of 2.56 million tonnes grading 5.6 grams/tonne gold and ore reserves of 1.21 million tonnes grading 7.86 grams/tonne gold.

To date 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 at the Sangilo mine started to roll again, a significant milestone from about two decades of inactivity since the suspension of operations in 1996,” Walter Brown said. “We are on schedule to achieve our objective of operating at 200 tonnes a day by the middle of next year.”

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