Singapore (VNA) – The Philippines saw metal production falling nearly 11 percent to 24.86 billion peso (490 million USD) in the first quarter of this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) showed.

The lackluster start was attributed mainly to the disruption in the operations of mining projects throughout the country amid the pandemic where movements of people and supplies were restricted, the MGB said.

There was also zero production at one of the country’s major mining projects, Didipio Gold Project of OceanaGold Philippines located in Nueva Vizcaya, it explained.

Gold led the total metallic mineral production value with a 43 percent share at 10.66 billion peso (20 million USD), down 13 percent from a year earlier.

It was followed by the nickel group which accounted for 41 percent of the total production value during the period.

Revenues from copper production, which accounts for 15 percent of the total, fell 27 percent to 3.69 billion peso, mainly because of a 9-percent drop in copper price to 5,651.25 USD per tonne.

The production value of silver decreased 22 percent to 170 million peso as production fell 25 percent to over 6.33 tonnes.

Out of the 29 listed operating nickel mines, 11 reported their production while all the remaining 18 were either under care and maintenance programmé or reported zero production due to unfavorable weather conditions./.