Mining industry officials seek ‘stable climate’


Mining company executives at the recently concluded Mining Philippines 2013 Conference and Exhibition called for a “stable” environment that will help the industry contribute more to the country’s economic expansion.

In separate presentations, officials said the government should consider how changing mining policy would add to risks and costs presented by a lack of infrastructure such as roads, not to mention the volatile power supply.

Sagittarius Mines Inc. executive vice president Justin Hillier said investors expected a higher rate of return in less developed countries like the Philippines, where there was more risk and more costs due to lack of infrastructure such as power and roads, compared to developed countries like Canada.

Allan Trench, managing consultant of the CRU Group, said the Philippines should follow the example of Chile in its attractive mining policy for investors as it was rated No. 1 by investors based on a recent Fraser Institute survey that considered three criteria, including mineral potential and mining fiscal policy. “Chile’s investment policy is five to six times more attractive than any place in the world, including the Philippines, even if the Philippines also has huge mineral potential,” said Trench.

MRL Gold Inc., a subsidiary of Singaporean firm Red Mountain, has two mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) contracts to develop a gold project in Lobo, Batangas. “If we are allowed to pursue development and get it into production under the current fiscal regime, then we’ll start to work on the financial models. We go to the banks and say ’this is the fiscal regime, you lend us the money.’ If the government changes it, we may not get the funding,” MRL Gold Philippines manager Geoff Boswell said.

Former environment secretary Horacio C. Ramos, now president of Clariden Holdings (a San Miguel Corp. subsidiary that is buying into metallic mining properties), expressed concern that the Philippines might end up having the best mining policies, “yet have no industry to speak of.”

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  • DGuardian

    Kung talagang hindi mapigil ang gobyerno na magkaroon ng mining sa Pilipinas, dapat ay magtayo ito ng isang national mining company na siyang tanging magmimina ng ating mga mineral reasources, upang hindi maubos ang mga ito nang hindi naman tunay na napakinabangan at nabiyayaan ang mga mamamayang Pilipino, lalo na ang majority na mahihirap, at hindi man lamang nagamit ang anumang maliit na kinikita dito tauntaon sa pagdevelop at pagpapaganda ng Pilipinas, dahil napupunta lamang sa corruption at pagnanakaw ng mga opisyales ng gobyerno at mga kasapakat nila. Nauubos ang mga mineral resources natin nang wala man lamang makikitang pinatunguhan o naipagawa ang mga ito ang mga darating na henerasyon ng Pilipino. Isa pa, wala na bang anumang mineral resources na ititira sa mga future generations of Filipinos at ipananakaw na lamang o ipamimigay sa napakababang giveaway prices sa mga local at foreign miners?

  • DGuardian

    Dapat ay magkaroon ng total mining ban sa Pilipinas. Walang anumang naidulot na kabutihan ang pagmimina sa Pilipinas, kung saan ang ating mga mineral resources ay ini-extract ng mga local at foreign miners nang hindi idini-declare ang tunay na quantity ng ores na na-extract, bukod pa sa ini-smuggle sila, usually ng mga Chinese mining companies, patungo sa China upang hindi maipagbayad ng napakababang buwis na 7% lamang ang kabuuan. Ninanakaw din ng mga illegal Chinese miners ang ating magnetites at iba pang rare earth metals na na-i-extract mula sa black sand ng mga dalampasigan sa Cagayan, Zambales, Ilocos, at iba pang mga coastlines ng mga probinsiya sa Visayas at Mindanao. Maraming malulubhang sakit ang idinudulot ng toxic wastes mula sa pagmimina, na-e-extinct ang ating mga indigenous fauna and flora, binabago at winawasak ang magagandang topograpiya at kapaligiran ng ating bansa, nauubos ang ating mga mineral resources sa ubod nang babang giveaway price na 7%, at ang yumayaman lamang ay ang mga mining companies, private individual miners at mga tiwaling mga opisyales ng gobyerno.

  • John Reyes

    It’s self-serving, but then again business exist for profit, not altruism. Self interest is the name of the game. We shouldn’t even have the right to split profits with them, their high tax burden is enough. These guys take all the risk in finding mineral deposits, and that’s a big risk. The government keeps saying it’s for the “common good” but the problem with that is who really benefits? The people? No. The miners? No. Bureaucrat swine? A big YES!

    Apart from the profit sharing scheme and the high taxes, government officials can red tape a mining firm to death because firms can’t lift a finger without having to pay off an official somewhere.

    • DGuardian

      I beg to disagree. What high taxes were you referring to? These mining companies are paying the measly 2% excise tax and 5% royalty tax. The mining companies in Australia pay 40%. Of course, the mining companies are the ones that benefit immensely from their mining operations in the Philippines. Just look at the countless slums that are spread across the country, the grinding poverty all around you, and the appalling ugliness that you see in every city and town in the Philippines. Only the areas that were developed by private companies differ from the usual sickening atmosphere and sights of other residential, commercial, or any other public places in our country. What has mining done to improve the lives and uplift the standards of living of tens of millions of impoverished Filipinos?

      • John Reyes

        My bad, it wasn’t a tax per se, but it was the new profit-sharing agreement which forces the company to pay 50% of gross revenues upfront so the government swine are sure to receive the money no matter what the bottom line may look like. Now my second question is this, have you gone to the towns near Philex mining areas? Have you asked the locals there? Because if not, I implore you to go. Almost all the people there are thankful because Philex employs almost all, if not all of the town folk. It doesn’t need to give back the profits but they build schools anyway. They clean up whatever they mess up, but they get blamed for whatever the small-time miners destroy.

        The only ones who want Philex out are the people not living near the mining areas. For your last question, you’re asking what Philex has done? I don’t know and I don’t care because they have no obligation whatsoever to uplift the lives of the “impoverished: (read:lazy) Filipinos, in the same way that I can’t force you to help others, you can’t force people or corporations to help other people. The only responsibility of a corporation is to its shareholders. .

  • carlcid

    This is a very self-serving statement coming from the miners themselves. We all want a higher rate of return, don’t we? But we cannot be giving our patrimony away.

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