Philippines' H1 metals output value drops 8 pct as prices drop
MANILA Oct 21 (Reuters) - The Philippines' metals output in the first half of the year fell 8 percent in value terms from a year earlier mainly due to a drop in prices, led by nickel, the government said on Monday.
Metals output in January to June was valued at 45.91 billion Philippine pesos ($1.07 billion) compared with production worth 49.84 billion pesos in the same period last year, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau said in a statement.
Nickel accounted for 41 percent of the total output, followed by gold with 34 percent and copper with 22 percent. The remaining 3 percent was shared by silver, zinc, chromite and iron.
The six-month average price of nickel fell 13 percent, gold was down 7.7 percent and copper dropped 7.5 percent, the mines bureau said.
The Philippines sits on untapped mineral resources worth an estimated $850 billion, one of the world's largest, but mining accounts for just 1 percent of the country's gross domestic product and investors face hurdles in developing mines.
The Southeast nation ranks third in the world in gold reserves, fourth in copper and fifth in nickel. It is home to several major projects from international miners, including Glencore Xstrata's $5.9 billion Tampakan copper-gold project.
Miners are wary that legislation now being drafted by Manila that would increase the government's share of mining revenues could derail $12 billion worth of mining projects already hit by policy bottlenecks and a slump in metals prices. ($1 = 43.0750 Philippine pesos) (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)