Job loss hits local mining industry

Published by rudy Date posted on January 29, 2009

JOB losses have claimed its first casualty in the Philippine mining industry, with a Canadian-led venture announcing layoffs in its Mindanao operation.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Apex Mining Co. Inc. said it laid off rank and file employees at its Maco project in Mindanao because of high development costs.

The company said its manpower reduction program in Maco, Compostela Valley, is aimed at sustaining its economic viability.

Apex mines gold and is run by the consortium of Crew Gold Corp. of Canada and Filipino-owned Mapula Creek Gold Corp. Inc.

The Maco mine, formerly known as Masara, is projected to have an annual production rate of 50,000 ounces of gold, and recently began production.

“It is anticipated that the project will realize earnings once its commercial production is in full swing with high precious metal prices being forecast to prevail in the periods to come,” Apex said.

The mining firm said it has to “right-size” its work force for the project to prevent losses because of high development costs.

It said that about 150 rank and file employees stand to be affected by its plan to reduce manpower, including majority of expatriates working at the project.

Besides the workforce reduction, Apex said it has also adopted cost-saving measures in power usage, “which are quite significant due to the continuing rise in the cost of electricity.”

It said it adopted a no-overtime policy in non-production related activities, deferment of low priority projects, and introduction of new systems and controls in its project departments.

Apex’s A shares closed flat Wednesday at P2.24 while its B shares dipped to P.24 from P2.28 the previous day.
— Euan Paulo C. Añonuevo, Manila Times

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