Mining loses $1.5B in potential investments

Stakeholders still waiting for Congress to enact new law

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The Philippines’ mining industry remains in limbo as businessmen and potential investors await the new mining law to be passed by Congress, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines says. AFP FILE PHOTO

The country’s mining industry remains in limbo as businessmen and potential investors await the new mining law to be passed by Congress, according to the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.

“To go forward, the government must resolve the mining revenue-sharing issues first. That won’t happen until at least after the midterm elections in May and when a new Congress is sworn in,” Jimbo Gulle, the new spokesman of the CMOP, said in an interview.

Gulle noted that mining industry stakeholders have lost all hope that a new mining law would be approved before the close of the current 15th Congress and that the moratorium on new mining contracts would be lifted.

“There’s a six-month lull in Congress (in connection with talks about mining). We have to wait until June this year. We are patient about it but you see if the mines don’t get to work and companies are not allowed to start operations, all the investments planned for the country will not happen,” Gulle said.

Gulle cited data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) showing that the foreign mining investments that flowed into the country last year reached $509.24 million, 75 percent lower than the estimated $2 billion. The Philippines lost $1.5 billion worth of potential investments.

The Chamber of Mines said that with the issuance of Executive Order 79, which imposed a moratorium on mining agreements until such time that a new mining bill has been enacted into law, both government and industry leaders have reconsidered their projections for the mining industry.

The government has lowered significantly its forecasts for mining investments for the next four years because of project delays due to the implementation of EO 79.

Industry records showed that investment inflows for 2013 would likely reach $718.47 million, down from the previous target of $2.07 billion; $851.75 million in 2014 from the previous estimate of $2.4 billion; $757.6 million in 2015 from $2.9 billion; and $619.5 million in 2016 from $2.3 billion.

Gulle also cited the case of Sagittarius Mines Inc., which is developing the Tampakan copper-gold project in Mindanao, but has to put its $6-billion project on hold due to a provincial ordinance prohibiting open-pit mining.

“There should be a harmony in national and local laws. That’s something the government should solve,” he said.

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  • tilney

    Govt has really to review the benefits the govt, the community will get against environment impact and the buried natural resources. How much will be paid as royalty to the govt aside from corporate tax to be paid?

  • The Truth

    It’s better to wait than lose these finite resources without the full benefit of our country.  

  • kismaytami

    Why are the news about mining always about potentials investments only and do not include the amounts of taxes these mining companies are paying?

  • Mario_Garcia

    Mining yes, but let us use our minerals for our own industry, let us make our own steel, copper tubes, copper plates, MS plates and the like.  Let us buy our own product even if they will cost a bit more to give our own industry the time to develop now in order compete later. To do this, let us ban the import of finished steel and copper products as well as totally ban the export of our mineral ores.

  • Mario_Garcia

    Investments will still flood the mining industry once the rules are clarified and the necessary laws enacted.  In the meantime, let’s enjoy our natural resources while it is still there.

  • Mario_Garcia

    Procrastination results to delay.  When will they ever learn.

  • carlcid

    It’s not like those investments are gone forever. It’s not a zero-sum game. Those investments will come in the future. The Philippines is better off waiting rather than plunging head first into disadvantageous arrangements with mining companies. Make sure that the environment is protected. Make sure that the proper royalties and taxes are paid. Make sure that future generations of Filipinos are not short-changed.

    • Karabkatab

      I agree with your views carlcid.  Besides, we don’t have the forward industries to speak of at the moment.  Most of the users of our raw mineral produced are in China, Korea and Japan.  We are at the loosing end if we will remain to be producer of raw materials without preparing for value adding industries.

  • Roman S. Averia

    Widen your horizon of thoughts you who are against mining.  The growth of civilization owes itself to mining.  Moses quarried from a mountain to get a couple of rock tablets on which he (with God) wrote the 10 commandementd.  Look at the technologies we have today. Anything you can see and eat are directly and indirectly taced to elements, compounds and minerals.  Your laptops are made of critical conductive metals, then you all the temerity of shouting mining is bad and will only make us poorer.  The rice you eat are grown with the aid of fertizilers which have ingredients mined by us miners.  What we need today is resposinble mining and also those who will venture into mining must see to it that their products are sent to our domestic down stream industries which are practically dead because of no competitive supply of raw materials. Any excess end products can then be exported.  The government is giving to much emphasis (putting all eggs in one basket) on services but we do not have rice to eat (all we do is import from Vietnam) and have left our farmers poorer, yet we have the most advance rice institute in Los Banos.

    • mumbaki ak

       bla bla bla..we’ve heard this thing before. give us anything new that means really something to the common woman and man on the street. until then, everything from your side is bla bla bla.

    • Leo Esquillo

      Civilization?????? ha ha ha. We now have a Killer Civilization destroying Mankind and Mother Earth everyday. A rotten civilization. In just 50 years of world industrialization, around 50% of world mineral resources had been depleted. Paano na po ang mga susunod na henerasyon?

      What is the reason for rushing to mine our riches now? So that the selfish, greedy and irresponsible elites can get richer? And corrupt government can have more money to burn?

      As long as greed, injustice and corruption reign in our country, hindi po makikinabang ang taong bayan sa pag-ubos ng ating mga minahan. Delay is best until we have a new, wiser and better economic and political system.

      Inubos na po ng nakaraang henerasyon ng mga ganid, buaya at kurap ang ating kagubatan. Iilang pamilya lang ng mayayaman at makapangyarihan ang nakinabang sa US$42 Billion na kinita sa pagkalbo ng ating kagubatan. Ngayon, mga mahihirap ang nagdurusa sa baha at kalamidad na dulot nito — habang nagpapasasa sa kayamanan at kapangyarihan ang nakinabang dito.

      Huwag naman sanang ubusin ng mga kasalukuyang naghahari sa lipunan ang ating mga minahan. May karapatan ang mga susunod na henerasyon — ang ating mga anak, apo at salinlahi — sa lahat ng kayamanan ng ating bayan.

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