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PHILIPPINES TO HIT $1 BILLION IN MINING INVESTMENTS


The Philippine Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Jose L. Atienza, expressed his confidence yesterday in a Bloomberg TV interview that the country will be able to achieve its original mining investment target this year of $1 billion, instead of its revised target of just $800 million.


The Philippine Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Jose L. Atienza, expressed his confidence yesterday in a Bloomberg TV interview that the country will be able to achieve its original mining investment target this year of $1 billion, instead of its revised target of just $800 million.

The DENR’s renewed optimism stems from the announced investment of Intex Resources and the start of production of at least four gold mining firms in the country.

“We have no reason to doubt that we will accomplish our targets,” Atienza said. “In fact, we are sitting on a mountain of gold.”

Atienza also stressed that “our mineral resources have kept investors focused on us”.

The Philippines is considered to be the world’s fifth most prolifically mineralized country. Because of its location on the Pacific “rim of fire”, it has abundant deposits of mineral reserves, including gold, copper, nickel, chromite, marble and limestone.

As of 1996, the Philippines had over 6.67 billion metric tons of metallic and 78.472 metric tons of non-metallic minerals. A 1994 East-West Center study estimated that 11 new deposits under a “conservative estimate” and 25 deposits under a “most likely estimate” might be developed between 1995 and 2015.

The mining industry in the Philippines was recently revitalized by the Philippine government after years of negligence and unproductiveness, mainly due to a variety of socio-economic, legal and environmental reasons. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Executive Order No. 270, the National Policy Agenda Revitalizing Mining in the Philippines, on January 16, 2004 that provided a set of principles that will govern the revitalization of the country’s mining industry. The objectives of revitalizing the mining industry are to make it more competitive and prosperous to fuel sustained economic growth and development, contribute to poverty reduction by enhanced participation in local and indigenous communities, and foster a sustainable and environmentally responsible minerals industry.

Consequently, the DENR, in collaboration with other agencies and various stakeholders, prepared the Minerals Action Plan that will operationalize Executive Order No. 270. The plan contains 57 strategies and 126 specific activities and was approved by the president on September 13, 2004. The DENR is now responsible for overseeing and monitoring the implementation of the Minerals Action Plan.

These recent government actions will help revitalize the Philippine mining industry by streamlining governmental procedures in granting mining permits, harmonizing ‘conflicting laws’ concerning mineral development, and expediting the resolution on the Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Mining Act of 1995. That Supreme Court decision basically enables foreign companies to exploit the country’s mineral resources.

Government officials remain optimistic of the positive effects of these government actions to revitalize the mining industry, despite the global economic downturn.

“We believe that our growth prospects remain excellent,” said Atienza. “The industry’s growth may slow down, projects might be delayed, but we believe that long-term prospects remain good.

Source: www.AsiaEcon.org
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Source: www.asiaecon.org |


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