MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The mining industry in the Philippines is controversial again after Environment Secretary Gina Lopez ordered the closure of about 23 mining operations and cancellation of a total of 75 mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs) in watersheds earlier this year. (READ: DENR announces closure of 23 mining operations)
Below is a list of key things to know about the mining industry in the Philippines:
1.The Philippines is the fifth most mineral-rich country in the world for gold, nickel, copper, and chromite. It is home to the largest copper-gold deposit in the world. The Mines and Geosciences Bureau has estimated that the country has an estimated $840 billion worth of untapped mineral wealth, as of 2012.
2. All the regions (except NCR and ARMM) in the country allow mining operations. ARMM ceased issuing permits due to the on-going peace process between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the national government.
3. About 30 million hectares of land areas in the Philippines is deemed as possible areas for metallic minerals. About 9 million hectares of land areas is identified as having high mineral potential, according to MGB.
4. The Philippines metal deposit is estimated at 21.5 billion metric tons and non- metallic minerals are at 19.3 billion metric tons, as of 2012.
5. According to MGB, there are 236,000 workers in the mining industry in 2016.
6. The mining industry’s contribution to the country’s GDP is at 0.6% in 2016.
7. The contribution of minerals and mineral products to the country’s total exports is at 4% and 0.3% for non-metallic mineral manufacturers in 2016.
8. The mining industry’s gross production value declined in the last 2 years. From P208.2 billion ($4.2 billion) in 2014 to only P100.6 billion ($2 billion) in 2016, according to MGB.
9. The Mining Act of 1995 allows for foreign ownership of mining assets and exploration permits. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the foreign investors’ participation in mining activities in 2004.
10. Mining tax is low at 2% for metallic and non-metallic minerals. During the Aquino administration, a mining reform bill was drafted to increase revenues of the government. In the bill, companies will either pay 10% tax on gross revenues or 45% to 55% tax on adjusted mining revenues plus a percentage of windfall profit, whichever is higher.
11. As of September 2016, there are about 40 metallic mines and 62 non-metallic mines operating in the country.
12. There are a total of 1,473 mining applications under process in the country as of 2016, according to the MGB.
13. As of August 2016, mining companies have already committed P13.1 billion for the development of their host and neighboring communities under their Social Development and Management Programs, the MGB reported.
14. Meanwhile, mining companies have allotted a total of about P19.1 billion for the implementation of approved projects and programs under their Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programs.
15. From 2011 to 2013, the mining sector committed to reforest about 34,000 hectares, under the National Greening Program. By December 2015, more than 47,000 hectares have been reforested.
For the existing mining contracts in the Philippines, view this #WhyMining map.
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