2012 mining targets revised as investments drop
MANILA, Philippines - The national government will revise its mining targets on the back of a 50% decline in mining investments in the first semester of the year.
In an interview on the sidelines of the culmination of the 59th annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference on Friday, November 16, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Director Leo Jasareno said investments declined to US$160 million from $309.31 million registered in the same period in 2011.
For the whole of 2012, the government targets to grow mining investments to $2 billion, higher than the $624.06 million booked in 2011.
"We will obviously revise our targets. We will consolidate it," Jasareno said.
The MGB said the decline in investments in the mining sector was caused by project delays and uncertainties surrounding the government's mining policies.
The new mining policy prohibits the acceptance of new mining application pending the identification of sites where mining activities would be restricted or prohibited.
The granting of new mining permits, on the other hand, would be deferred until a law rationalizing the revenue-sharing scheme between the government and mining companies.
Some $1.5 billion-worth of mining investments were already deferred. These included the:
- $200 million investment of Intex Resources for a nickel project in Mindoro Oriental
- $649 million for a processing plant of Taganito HPAL Nickel Corp.
- $39 million for the expansion of the Siana Gold project Australian miner Red 5 Limited
- $350 million for the development of the King King gold project by Canadian miner St. Augustine Gold and Copper Ltd.
- $66 million for the Far Southeast project of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. and Gold Fields Limited of South Africa
- $200 million for the Silangan copper-gold project of Philex Mining Corp.
Jasareno said around $30 million of the mining investments that were booked were made by Philsaga Mining Corp and Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI).
Philsaga operates a gold mine in Agusan del Sur while SMI is pursuing the Tampakan copper-gold project in South Cotabato. - Rappler.com