Philippines missed ’11 mining investments goal

But gov’t reports increased mineral sales

A+
A
A-

The Philippines missed its mining investment target for 2011 due to the deferred development of major projects, but mineral sales grew as existing mines continued to be productive, according to data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

The government had projected mining investments to reach $1.44 billion in 2011, and most of the targeted investments were to come from ongoing development of the Surigao Sumitomo HPAL Project, Didipio copper-gold project, Siana gold project and the Runruno gold project.

However, actual investments reached only $618.5 million.

Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said in a phone interview that the MGB target for mining investments was actually “conservative” given that it was based on expected development and expansion works for ongoing projects.

Paje noted that a big chunk of the missed investments (of about $600 million) would have come from the construction work for the Sumitomo HPAL project and less than $200 million was spent.

It may be recalled that the nickel processing plant, as well as nearby facilities of other mining companies, in Surigao del Norte was attacked by armed insurgents last year. Structures were burned and equipments were damaged.

“It’s understandable that the investor would have needed to rehabilitate the damaged structures, which may have deferred their construction works,” Paje said.

Paje also disputed comments from some sectors that the government is taking too long in releasing its final mining policy directions and that this is making miners invest outside the Philippines or at least more cautious in their local investments.

The ongoing moratorium on new mining applications, which will be lifted when the policy directions are out, coupled with the intense public scrutiny of mining and uncertainties presented by local government ordinances against mining in general, and the open pit method, in particular, were also cited as factors for lukewarm interest in mining investments.

“It’s apparent from the figures that the contraction in investments came from existing projects, which means it’s not really the mining policy that caused the drop,” Paje said.

Gross mineral sales, grew, reaching $3.51 billion from $3.2 billion in 2010, according to MGB data.

Asked whether mining investments were affected by the moratorium on new exploration, MGB director Leo L. Jasareno, in a phone interview, said new exploration works could have boosted mining investments “a little.”

Looking ahead, Paje and Jasareno both said mining investments are expected to “stabilize” starting this year, although they did not give figures.

Also, MGB projects mining output to increase for “most minerals.” However, Jasareno said, gold production could go down.

“We have reported earlier that gold sales of small scale miners to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas went down in 2011 as the government started collecting excise tax and withholding taxes. This may spill over to 2012,” Jasareno said.

Gold production may reach 756,482 ounces this year from a little over 1 million ounces in 2011.

Copper concentrate production is expected to reach 82,935 metric tons this 2012 from 63,834 metric tons. Silver output may reach 1.47 million ounces from a little over 1.46 million ounces and zinc concentrates may grow to 24,874 dry metric tons (DMT) from 18,170 DMT

Nickel ore production is expected to increase to almost 20.83 million DMT from a little over 20.29 million. Mixed nickel sulphides may shrink to 23,800 DMT in production from 38,798 DMT. Cobalt concentrate production is expected to start in 2012 with 1,552 DMT from zero. Chromite output may also shrink to 280,000 from 40,437 DMT and iron ore output may surge to 1.1 million DMT from 126,177 DMT.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/B3BHQAXLVU4KFB7IXAO5C7A2S4 Tom

    Nakakapanghinayang talaga mga investments na dapat mapupunta sa Pilipinas kung di dahil lang sa mga delays and inconsistencies sa policy implementation. Sa ibang news pa nga, investors are looking at other countries for mining investments. Mineral resources are one of our competitive advantage. The main concern is that responsible mining is possible and this should be strictly implemented. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DPUHLOEFIVKLT5LV43ZRN2YACI Twinkle

    Delays in the mining policy is just as good as imposing a moratorium on the mining operations in the country. Sayang naman mga investments na dapat mapupunta sa Pilipinas dahil sa mining kundi lang sa mga inconsistency and changes in the middle of the game. Governance is a crucial aspect in attracting foreign investors. In the case of the mining industry, since we are already endowed with rich mineral resources, govt should do what it can to take care of the industry and of course of the people as well. 

  • to0

    Better no mines at all. Let us keep these natural resources among ourself. Why export it. The future prices will be 100 times higher when these resources becames rare. Why give the advantage to the Chinese?

    • http://twitter.com/elkapitan21 edgar

      desperate measures by the government! they want to look good from the international community by opening our resources to foreign companies, and by greed. considering that they will only last for 6 years in the office, if they can, they must open it now. sayang ang tongpats sa mga project na yan.

      the government must consider financing for the set up of processing plants of these minerals in our country than by exporting it raw. kahit yung scrap na kelangan natin, ini-export. it is just obvious that people in government does not know the importance of these materials in our economy and in our country. all they want is immediate bucks.  

      wala naman talaga silang exposure sa ganitong industry. what can we expect? a leader who don’t know is always a disadvantage of our people. palakasan system kasi. kahit wala kang alam, dahil kamag-anak ka, ikaw na.

      • to0

        Our government is ruled by the Chinese includingo our Cmmerce and Industries. Let us keep our natural resources and save it for our future generation. Unfortunately our Chinese Dominated Government otherwise, plunder, plunder, plunder.

        ________________________________
        From: Disqus
        To: samontehe@yahoo.com
        Sent: Sunday, May 6, 2012 4:14 PM
        Subject: [inquirernetbusiness] Re: Philippines missed ’11 mining investments goal

        Disqus generic email template

        edgar wrote, in response to to0:
        desperate measures by the government! they want to look good from the international community by opening our resources to foreign companies, and by greed. considering that they will only last for 6 years in the office, if they can, they must open it now. sayang ang tongpats sa mga project na yan.
        the government must consider financing for the set up of processing plants of these minerals in our country than by exporting it raw. kahit yung scrap na kelangan natin, ini-export. it is just obvious that people in government does not know the importance of these materials in our economy and our country. all they want is immediate bucks.
        wala naman talaga silang exposure sa ganitong industry. what can we expect? a leader who don’t know is always a disadvantage of our people. palakasan system kasi. kahit wala kang alam, dahil kamag-anak ka, ikaw na. Link to comment

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94

editors' picks

advertisement
advertisement