MANUEL V. Pangilinan-led Philex Mining Corp. said Friday that net income in the first three months of 2024 plunged by about 70.5 percent to P114.7 million from P389.6 million a year earlier as revenues continued to decline.

The miner, one of the oldest and largest gold and copper producers in Southeast Asia, posted a 17.5 percent fall in revenues to P1.7 billion from P2.1 billion in the same period last year, on lower output.

The results came about despite higher average gold prices in the first quarter, at $2,061 per ounce compared with $1,889 per ounce a year earlier, while the price of copper was flat at $4.00 per pound.

Total tonnage milled in the first quarter fell to 1.59 million tonnes from the 1.71 million tonnes recorded last year, with gold output decreasing to 7,803 ounces from 10,062 ounces, while copper output also fell to 4.7 million pounds from 5.5 million pounds.

The miner’s core net income shrank to P105 million from P388 million, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization slipped to P295 million from P635 million.

“Despite the current challenges, we remain focused on the development of our Silangan Project,” Philex President and CEO Eulalio Austin Jr. said in a statement.

“The current price of gold remains high, and this provides both Silangan and Padcal with some tailwinds. Our drive in the main decline of the ore body of Silangan continues, as well as the start of construction of our process plant, tailings storage facility, and other surface infrastructure,” he added.

Philex earlier reported a 44.4-percent decline in its 2023 net income to P1 billion from P1.8 billion in 2022, also attributed to lower gold and copper output.

Core income for 2023 also dropped by the same percentage to P963 million from P1.7 billion, due to lower tonnage milled and higher operating expenses.

Philex Mining shares closed Friday down 0.32 percent at P3.14 each. – Brix Lelis