Philippine mining wealth seen at $840B | Inquirer Business

Philippine mining wealth seen at $840B

COMP: Security, gov’t policy concerns need to be addressed
/ 02:55 AM October 22, 2011

The Philippines’ potential mining wealth is estimated to reach $840 billion (P47 trillion), or 10 times the country’s annual gross domestic product, according to Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) president Benjamin Philip G. Romualdez.

In a speech during a Philippine Mining Club luncheon, Romualdez said the mining industry could also help curb poverty, citing studies that the industry had a multiplier effect of 28 times on employment. This means that for every person directly employed in mining, 28 more jobs are created in allied and downstream industries.


This means the industry’s growth will help reduce unemployment and poverty, which remain the greatest challenges facing the government, he added.

If the country’s entire mining reserves were mined, the total mineral production could amount to $840 billion.


According to industry data, the Philippines ranks third in total gold deposits, fourth in copper, fifth in nickel and sixth in chromite. The country has 8.03 billion tons of copper, 4.91 billion tons of gold, 0.81 billion tons of nickel, 480.26 million tons of iron, 39.66 million tons of chromite and 433.88 million tons of aluminum.

However, Romualdez said concerns about security, tax system and mining policies of the government had limited the entry of foreign and local investments into the industry.

He criticized security-related and other issues that were plaguing the industry, including insurgent attacks on companies, church leaders relating the recent killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio to mining, restrictions imposed by local governments on mining operations and additional taxes planned by the government.

Such uncertainties, which companies have to deal with on top of huge exploration and development costs, have driven many investors away, including mining giants Anglo American and BHP Billiton.

Still, Romualdez said, the chamber would continue to promote and defend the industry. Asked whether companies should beef up security in their areas, he said investors, especially foreigners, were “uncomfortable” with that.

“We don’t want to appear as if we are militarizing our operations and that’s really the responsibility of the state. We will leave that issue to individual companies but we welcome the government’s response to the Surigao incident,” he said.

He said COMP had met with the police, the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources after insurgents raided and burned the facilities of three mining companies in Surigao del Sur on Oct. 3.


Romualdez said the industry group had also provided inputs and was awaiting Malacañang’s national mining policy.

While this is happening, he said, mining companies were crafting a “Mining Scorecard” on social and environmental programs in partnership with nongovernment organizations and civil society groups, including the nonprofit Philippine Business for Social Progress and environmental protection group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Philippines.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, COMP, mining wealth
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Curated business news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.