Total metallic production value sustained its growth in H1 2017 with a 4.28% or PhP2.08 billion gain, from PhP48.73 billion in H1 2016 to PhP50.81 billion.
In terms of contribution to the total metallic value, gold still ruled over the other metals, accounting for 45.04%, or PhP22.89 billion. Nickel direct shipping ore and mixed sulfides took the second spot with 36.32%, or PhP18.45 billion, followed by copper with 17.63%, or PhP8.96 billion.
Nickel direct shipping ore suffered a 24% setback, from 11.38 million dry metric tons to 8.64 million dry metric tons due to the following factors: 1) suspension of mining operations following the sanctions imposed by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) due to environment-related issues and concerns; 2) zero production due to maintenance/care status by a number of nickel mines; and 3) unfavorable weather condition during the period. Eleven mining projects reported no production during the review period.
In the local front, the MGB has strengthened its mine monitoring activities in the Caraga Region by creating teams to conduct quarterly monitoring of mining operations, specifically in Region XIII. To make monitoring more systematic and comprehensive, the MGB came up with new checklists summarizing the environment, safety, social and mining tenement obligations of mining companies. Of the 50 operating metallic mines in the country, 24 are located in Caraga, namely: two gold mines, one chromite, and 21 nickel.