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PSE backs ‘responsible mining’ framework

Gov’t urged to issue ‘clear, decisive, practical’ rules

By: Doris C. Dumlao, March 12th, 2012 02:40 AM

The Philippine Stock Exchange adds another voice to calls for “clear, decisive and practical” national mining framework, stressing mining sector’s important role in the Philippine economy and the capital markets.

The Philippine Stock Exchange, whose main barometer outperformed all other Asian stock indices last year with the help of mining stocks, has called for a “clear, decisive and practical” national mining framework that would keep the industry vibrant while ensuring sustainable growth to host communities.

Throwing its support behind “responsible” mining in the ongoing national debate, the PSE cited the important role of the industry in the local economy and the capital markets.

The exchange added that as far as listed mining companies were concerned, it has been doing its part in requiring transparency and full disclosure since the implementation in 2010 of its Philippine Mineral Reporting Code, which compelled mining companies in the exploration and development stages to map out and report their environment protection and management strategy as well as their community development plans.

“As the government and the various stakeholders continue to find ways to best utilize our rich mineral resources to help spur growth in the economy and provide wealth and livelihood to many Filipinos, it must be ensured that intervention in mining activities are geared first and foremost toward ensuring responsible and sustainable mining, which includes stricter enforcement and monitoring of mining laws and guaranteeing that the host communities would be included among the beneficiaries of mining activities,” PSE president Hans Sicat said in a statement.

He said a solution was needed to enable the mining industry to “remain a showcase of investment stability in the Philippines” while ensuring that host communities would benefit and be protected, such as from environmental destruction.

The stock market’s advance, as an indicator of economic growth, has been supported by the mining sector. The growth of the mining and oil index by 69 percent in 2011 helped push the Philippine stock market to become the best-performing in Asia despite the uncertainties in the global environment.

The PSE reported that in the last five years, the mining and oil sub-index registered an annual growth rate of 39 percent, much higher than the 15-percent annual expansion registered by the next best performing sector, the holding firms sector. On the other hand, the overall market grew an average 8 percent over the same period.

This growth of the mining sector was even more pronounced in the past three years as the sector posted a compounded annual growth rate of 94 percent since 2008 when markets globally suffered significant declines, the PSE said.

The PSE report added that the mining sector had created wealth amounting to P378 billion in the last three years, representing the 951-percent increase in the sector’s market capitalization since 2008. Meanwhile, the contribution of trades in mining stocks to total market turnover has jumped from 5.5 percent in 2008 to 14 percent in 2011.

Meanwhile, the PSE also noted that its mineral reporting requirements for listed mining firms would allow stakeholders to have access to information on the practices of listed mining firms with respect to “sustainable” and “responsible” mining.

The most valuable mining firms listed on the PSE and their respective market capitalization levels were: Philex Mining (P106 billion); Semirara Mining (P81.58 billion); Lepanto Consolidated Mining (P67.6 billion); Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. (P32 billion); Nickel Asia (P30.3 billion); Philodrill Corp. (P10.4 billion); Manila Mining (P16.3 billion); NiHao Mineral Resources (P9.5 billion); and Oriental Peninsula Resources Group (P8.9 billion). Philex and Semirara are part of the main-share PSE index, which recently breached the historic 5,000 mark.

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