Nickel industry proposes faster mining approval   | Inquirer Business

Nickel industry proposes faster mining approval  

MANILA  -The Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) has proposed the creation of a one-stop shop to fast-track government approval of mining permits to just six months to a maximum of one year from the current processing period of as long as 10 years.

The PNIA also expects the industry to supply at least 40 million wet metric tons (WMT) to as much as 51.65 million WMT of nickel ore to the global market this year, driven by increased demand for this metal, a component for the production of electric vehicle batteries.

The higher end of the forecast suggests a return to the record-high export level of 51.65 million WMT last seen in 2014.


Last year, the country exported 45.22 million WMT of nickel ore. PNIA president Dante Bravo said the PNIA, which represents more than 70 percent of the nickel sector, was discussing with the government an initiative similar to the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop, a platform that streamlines the permitting process for the energy sector.


“The usual process that has been done for decades will have to be thoroughly reviewed, redesigned to become more efficient and really conducive to foreign investments, quality investments,” Bravo said in a press conference during the Nickel Initiative 2023 Business Conference.

He described the current system as “tedious” as the permitting process takes at least five years to as long as 10 years.

Bravo, president of Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc., said, “Mining is capital-intensive in every stage of the operation’s life cycle from exploration to extraction, to value added processing. While there is a lot of interest in the Philippines as a mining investment destination, we need to convince investors that the business environment is ready and conducive for their entry to the Philippines.”

A nickel processing plant needs to produce more than 100 million MT of raw nickel ore for at least 20 years to be considered viable, according to the PNIA.

The country only has two operating nickel processing plants and 34 nickel mines.

“We can’t push for value-added processing without mitigating uncertainties in minerals exploration and extraction because all of these are integral parts of the minerals development value chain.


To produce the minimum raw ore input requirement of one processing plant, mining permits need to be approved efficiently and awarded contracts should be allowed to operate with minimal disruption under a predictable, rules-based regulatory regime,” he added. INQ

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TAGS: Business, mining, nickel, One-stop-shop, permits

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