26 new mining projects ready to break ground
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star ) – February 19, 2021 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — At least 26 new mining projects will start development this year even as several stumbling blocks have yet to be resolved.
Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) director Wilfredo Moncano told The Star 26 new mining projects have complied with the documentary requirements, allowing them to proceed with development.
“These are MPSAs (mineral production sharing agreements) that had waited for a long time to develop and commercially operate and think now is the right time because of the high demand for aggregates, sand and gravel, limestone as cement feed, and other construction industry raw materials,” he said.
The government has been scrambling to get additional sources of revenues to keep the economy going.
It is of the belief that the mining industry has the potential to contribute to the growth of the economy through increased exports, taxes and employment.
The sector is enjoying favorable prices for most minerals, supported by a broader global economic recovery as COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available.
Moncano did not disclose the names of the 26 mining firms involved, but these include eight metallic mines and 18 non-metallic mines.
“Although most of them are in the non-metallic category, these new mining projects support the Build Build Build program of the government,” Moncano said.
“The metallic mines have a longer development period even up to three years but, yes, within the year, all these companies will start development works,” he said.
Larry Heradez, Mining Tenements Management Division chief of MGB, said the $750-million Silangan copper and gold project in Surigao del Norte of Pangilinan-led Philex Mining Corp. is one of the 26 firms expected to start rolling this year.
The government’s move to greenlight projects is also in response to the rising demand in China as consumption remains strong.
About 90 percent of the country’s nickel exports goes to China.
Demand for some metals used in renewable infrastructure and electric-vehicle batteries including copper, nickel and aluminum is also robust.