Strong Q4 seen for mining sector | Inquirer Business

Strong Q4 seen for mining sector

/ 02:20 AM December 09, 2022

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga is expecting the Philippine mining sector to sustain its upbeat performance for the entire 2022 after remaining in positive territory as of end-September.

“It’s very promising for this year. We don’t have the figures for the final semester yet but in the first semester, we have noticed the uptick already in revenues,” Yulo-Loyzaga said in a chance interview. “It’s quite positive.”

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The value of metal production in the country has been on the upside since the beginning of 2022, implying its recovery from the inconsistencies in the rules governing the industry.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) earlier reported metallic production reached P48.61 billion in the first quarter, representing an expansion of 36.21 percent.

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Then, in the first semester, the value of metal production surged by 39.42 percent to P112.66 billion.

Just this week, the MGB said local metallic mineral production grew by 29.21 percent to P175.61 billion.

For these reference periods, the sector’s optimistic performance has been primarily attributed to high metal prices, coupled with rising metal production.

“Overall, there was a remarkable increase in the value of mineral commodities, year-on-year,” the MGB said in a report released this week.

The MGB noted that in the international scene, experts project metal prices to decline in the fourth quarter of 2022 up to next year, “reflective of weaker global growth and concerns over a slowdown in China’s demand due to its zero COVID policy and slowdown of its real estate sector.”

“But still, experts went on to say that prices are expected to remain higher than their average over the past five years, which is a positive thing for our local mining industry,” it added.

Back home, the government is banking on the potential of the mining sector to drive the country’s economic growth through the declaration of more Minahang Bayan or small-scale mining sites.

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Identifying additional Minahang Bayan areas “is the government’s strategy to first, effect an orderly, systematic, and ecologically balanced administration and disposition of small-scale mining areas,” the MGB noted.

To date, the Philippines has declared 53 Minahang Bayan sites—17 in Luzon, three in Visayas and 33 in Mindanao.

For metallic minerals, commodities will be limited only to gold, silver and chromite, and shall have a term of two years, renewable for a similar period but not to exceed a total term of six years.

In line with President Marcos’ directive, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is strengthening the regulatory framework governing the mining sector, specifically small-scale mining.

“We are looking very closely [into] the Small-Scale Mining Act and what needs to be done to update it,” said Loyzaga in a briefing.

The government, she said, is putting a prime on small-scale mining to ensure their safety and protection.

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