Economy · August 6, 2022

Mobilizing investments for the development of mines

“The mining industry has the greatest potential to be a key driver in our economic recovery and long-term growth, especially now that world metal prices are high. The Philippines, after all, is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of mineral resources. “

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno made the aforementioned statement Wednesday during Philex Mining Corp.’s additional listing. they are valuable tools for accelerating the development of large mining development projects.

Philex filed a rights to stock offer (SRO) last month and raised a total of P2.65 billion in new shares from the listing of the additional 842 million common stock. The proceeds will be mobilized for the development of the underground copper-gold mine of Silangan di Philex in Surigao del Norte.

Located in the Caraga region of northeastern Mindanao, the Silangan project is considered to be one of the largest copper and gold mines in the Philippines. Philex plans to mine it in two stages, with the first having a mineable ore reserve of 81 million tons to be mined for 22 years at a rate of 4 million tons per year. The start of operations is expected in the first quarter of 2025.

Philex’s SRO listing, Diokno said, means more jobs will be created, resulting in reinvigorating local economies and generating additional revenue contributions for the government. He believes this offer demonstrates the mining industry’s confidence in the country’s promising economic growth prospects.

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Based on estimates from the Department of Finance (DoF), the Silangan project will generate around £ 8.5 billion in excise duty over the mine’s entire life. “We recognize that, in addition to promoting local development, mining is a strong magnet for investments that can propel our economy into a higher growth trajectory,” said the head of the Department of Defense.

In turn, the national government expects the mineral development sector to strictly adhere to responsible and sustainable mining practices. Diokno urged industry players to strike a balance between protecting the environment, elevating local communities and supporting the government’s socio-economic agenda. “This is a non-negotiable condition so that we can ensure the sustainability of the sector and the strong economic growth of its host communities,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Chamber of Mines (COMP) has welcomed the appointment of Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). COMP is an industry association comprising most of the country’s large-scale metal ore development companies.

COMP President Michael Toledo said the mining industry is ready to partner with Yulo-Loyzaga in its advocacy, particularly for disaster risk reduction and response, the Sustainable Development Goals and climate change protection. “COMP supports all efforts to promote and promote responsible mineral development in the Philippines,” he added.

Toledo has pledged the chamber’s support to the DENR to eliminate illegal miners and curb the irresponsible mining practices that have tarnished the industry’s reputation for so long. He also foresees a significant engagement with the government’s economic team led by Diokno to help support the country’s post-pandemic recovery efforts.

The author is the chief finance officer of the Asian Center for Legal Excellence and chair of the Finex Media Affairs Committee. The opinion expressed in does not necessarily reflect the views of these institutions and the Manila Times.