Nickel ore output in the Philippines, the world’s top supplier, fell 24 percent in the first half of the year as several mines stopped operations due to government sanctions and bad weather, the mining industry regulator said on Tuesday (15/08).
Of the country’s 30 nickel mines, 11 reported zero production in the first six months, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau said in a report.
At least eight nickel mines have been suspended since last year for environmental breaches under a crackdown by former Environment Secretary Regina Lopez, who was ousted in May.
The mines bureau said other mines were undergoing maintenance while output from some was affected by unfavorable weather conditions.
The fate of the suspended mines remained uncertain, with Lopez’ successor, Roy Cimatu, saying last month he was in no rush to make a decision on whether to maintain, modify or reverse her decisions.
The country’s output of nickel ore, most of which is shipped to China to make stainless steel, totaled 8.64 million dry tonnes in the first half of the year compared with 11.38 million dry tonnes a year ago, the bureau said.
Gold output dropped 5 percent and copper concentrate 22 percent. Silver output declined 7 percent. Chromite slid 42 percent.