PH likely to hit $1.4B mine investment goal
MANILA, Philippines–THE Philippines is on track to meeting its $1.44-billion mining investment target for 2011, officials said.
Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje and Mines and Geosciences Bureau Director Leo L. Jasareno told reporters that the target was “attainable” despite market correction in the price of gold.
“Gold will at least be stable at $1,500. We think that is the true price and the previous higher prices were artificial,” Paje said.
Jasareno said copper was also enjoying good prices and might stabilize at about $4 per pound, while nickel had mellowed to $10 to $11 per ton.
With metal prices still relatively good, Jasareno said, producers had been increasing production.
As for investments, Jasareno said the government had so far recorded about $430 million in fresh mining investments for 2011 and was consolidating this figure with ongoing investments, such as those from Taganito (Mining Corp.) and an adjacent nickel processing plant.
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd., majority owner of the processing plant, programmed $1.3 billion for the project for its fiscal year 2011-2012, which ends on March 30, 2012. This was stated in a report posted on its official website.
Other major projects are expected to proceed in varying paces. The $5.9-billion Tampakan copper-gold project straddling South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur has a pending application for an environmental compliance certificate. Paje said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has not issued the certificate since the provincial government of South Cotabato has not lifted the ban on open pit mining, which is the technology to be used in the Tampakan project.
“It will not affect their (Tampakan) schedule,” Paje said, noting that project development was slated for 2013 and 2014 and commercial operation for 2016.
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