TUBA, Benguet – Mining industry stakeholders project that the global metal industry will have bright prospects in the next three years amidst the heavy impacted inflicted by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to the global economy.
Philex Mining Corporation president and chief executive officer Engr. Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. disclosed that efforts of countries to recover from the pandemic and the agreed shift to green industries will still be beneficial to the mining sector because of the expected significant increase in the demand for metals that will be used in such planned shifts.
He pointed out that the bright prospects for the global mining industry is well supported by the prevailing high metal prices in the world market for over a year now aside from the fact that mining had been included in the list of export-oriented industries that did not cease operations despite lockdowns over the past 22 months.
The Philex official expressed the company’s all-out support to the agreement reached by countries during the recently concluded global climate change summit for zero carbon emission through the shift to green industry to preserve and protect the environment.
For example, Austin claimed that the shift to the use of electric vehicles and solar power will contribute to the expected increase in the demand for metals because their accessories will be primarily made up of metals from mines.
According to him, the prevailing high metal prices in the world market has greatly contributed in extending the mine life of Philex’s Padcal mine for another 2 years from its supposed end life in December 2022, even if the company is already mining marginal grades of ore.
Last year, the average price of gold in the world market was between $1,750 to $1,800 per pound while copper was priced between $4 to $4.15 per ounce.
When he joined the company over 3 decades ago, Austin revealed that the world market price of gold was only $380 per pound while copper was bought at only $0.85 to $1 per ounce.
Philex is the largest producer of copper and gold in the country and the company has been operating its main mine site at Padcal over the past 63 years.
Austin explained that there are 3 major factors in the operation of a mine, such as the prevailing world market prices, operating cost and the projected revenue where it is only the operating cost that is within the direct control of management to allow the mine’s continued existence.
He expressed his gratitude to both the labor and management for having maintained industrial peace in the mine camp that have contributed in providing sustained source of income for its over 1,200 work force and the more than 500 indirect beneficiaries aside from the benefits derived by its host and neighboring communities from the operation of the company’s Padcal mine which is within the jurisdiction of Tuba and Itogon towns.