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Aussie mining firms keen on doing business in PH

/ 04:03 AM May 05, 2021

Some Australian mining companies have expressed interest in mining across the Philippines, an envoy said, adding that the recent lifting of the nine-year ban on new mining projects opened doors for the future of responsible and world-class mining.

Australia’s Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson said that mining, if done responsibly using the most modern equipment and techniques following global standards, could help the Philippines recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.

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“The miners that we already have here—Orica [Philippines], OceanaGold, Red 5 [group], a number of them—are already thinking about what the future hold for them as a result of that ban being lifted,” he said in a virtual briefing on Monday.

“They have started to reach out to us just in recent times to express interest in mining across the Philippines. I think that is a very positive step for the Philippines and good for Australian miners here,” he added, when asked to comment on the lifting of the ban.

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Last month, Malacañang issued Executive Order No. 130, which essentially lifted the nine-year moratorium on new mining agreements. The order overturned a provision in Executive Order No. 79, which was issued by then President Benigno Aquino III in 2012.

A provision in the EO imposed a moratorium on new mining permits or mining production sharing agreements until a new revenue-sharing scheme was put in place.

President Rodrigo Duterte said the tax scheme for mining under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act had already satisfied the conditions of the EO. The TRAIN law—which lowered personal income tax while raising consumption taxes—doubled the excise on minerals, mineral products and quarry resources from 2 percent to 4 percent.

Duterte earlier said the country had so far tapped less than 5 percent of its mineral resources endowment. The Australian envoy said that showed there was still so much that could be done in the country, which could help with its economic recovery.

“The Philippines is a natural resource rich country, and there’s much that could be done here that will really benefit the Philippines’ recovery, and Australian firms know that,” Robinson said. INQ

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TAGS: Australian mining, Business
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