Metals output to rise by 10% in 4 years — DENR
MANILA, Philippines - Metal production value is expected to rise by 9% to 10% in the next 4 years once a new mining reform measure is implemented, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said.
DENR Secretary Ramon Paje said these figures were calculated by the economic cluster of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC), the agency tasked to finalize the provisions of the mining reform bill.
In May, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the government would be pushing for the bill as a priority measure once the next Congress resumes. The measure is meant to increase the government's share in mining revenue, as well as lift the ban on the granting of some mining permits.
Changes in the mining policy of the Aquino administration have been blamed for the anemic output that the mining industry has seen the past two years.
The government stopped accepting mining applications in 2011 to revamp the approval process to prevent the entry of speculators or mining rights holders who only use their permits to influence stock prices but do not develop their mining operations.
Earlier this year, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) lifted the moratorium on the acceptance of applications for exploration permits (EP) and Financial Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA), a move mining firms hailed.
However, the granting of some permits, like the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA), which most large-scale miners need, remains suspended.
Several mining firms have continued operations and are eyeing to expand this year. They include:
- Oceana Gold Corp.'s copper-gold project in Didipio Nueva Vizcaya
- Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp's copper mine project in Toledo, Cebu
- Sumitomo Metal Mining Corp.'s HPAL project in Surigao
Pangilinan-led Philex Mining Corp. resumed operations in March after being suspended for 8 months.
Other mining firms that got suspended in 2012 include:
- Nonoc Nickel Project of Shuley Mines Inc. and Pacific Nickel Philippines Inc. in Surigao del Norte
- Leyte Magnetite Project of Nicua Corporation in Leyte
- Paracale Gold Project of Johnson Gold Mining Corporation in Camarines Norte
These suspensions dragged metal output value by 18.04% to P100.798 billion in 2012 from P122.984 billion in 2011. - Rappler.com