This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
MANILA, Philippines – Environment Secretary Toni Yulo-Loyzaga underscored the importance of the mining industry’s cooperation with the government in the path towards clean energy transition.
During the Philippine Nickel Industry Association business conference in Makati on Tuesday, August 29, Loyzaga said the technology needed for the Philippines to ride the wave of global transition to clean energy would require more minerals and other rare earth elements.
“These projects are highly mineral-intensive, and the accelerated adoption of such technologies will significantly increase the demand for critical minerals such as nickel,” said Loyzaga.
A sustainable mining industry should help ramp up this development, Loyzaga added.
“By investing in our social and environmental protections, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and disaster risk reduction, the mining industry can advance multiple development pathways,” she said.
Rare earth elements are considered the building blocks of climate-smart mining. They are used, together with critical minerals like nickel, cobalt, and lithium, to create wind turbines, electric vehicles, solar photovoltaics, among other things that help advance clean energy.
China, Australia, and the United States currently have the biggest rare earth metals production and reserves, according to 2018 data from the US Geological Survey.
Despite the necessity of extraction and other mining activities to decarbonize energy, Loyzaga reiterated that the industry needs to follow the law.
“Trust is not built with companies trying to skirt or even break the law, nor would putting more stringent guidelines alone, work,” she said.
While the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) hopes to avoid all possible negative environmental impacts of mining, minimizing harm and rehabilitating damaged areas are the next options, said Loyzaga.
The Philippine government needs to secure mineral supplies to be in sync with the rest of the world that are scaling their initiatives to create clean energy technologies.
In the same event, Loyzaga announced that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the DENR would lead extensive government-led exploration of critical minerals.
Foreign partners such as the Australian government and the US Geological Survey are poised to support these efforts.
The environment secretary assured the mining industry that the DENR will “promote and enable” mineral processing, particularly of nickel, iron, cobalt, and rare earth elements.
“Both strategies aim to maximize the value of our mineral resources…and utilize these towards our own energy transition and economic development,” said Loyzaga. – Rappler.com