Philippines: Mining uncertainties attracting high risk investors
MANILA, Philippines — The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) has warned that the delay in the resolution of important mining regulations is attracting high risk investors.
“Given uncertainties in the mining sector, we may attract high risk investors who are willing to take shortcuts. And this is not good for us,” COMP executive director Ronald Recidoro said.
“There is a limited pool of investment dollars reserved for mining and once these investors look elsewhere and sink money in other country, it will be hard to attract them to spend more here considering we have been delaying mining policies,” he added.
Investment opportunities in the mining sector have been stalled for the past few years following the moratorium on new mining projects issued during the last administration.
This was eventually worsened by the continued anti-mining stance of the administration coupled with cancellation orders and the ban on open pit mining.
Recidoro noted that Indonesia is easing up on its own export ban.
“We are really seeing a dip in nickel prices. We hope China begins to pick up demand for steel but global demand for steel is complex. We are not positioned for it since there are no new mining permits since 2010,” he said.
“We are a primary source of nickel but nickel has been affected by China’s economy as it begins to shift from manufacturing to more consumer-based,” Recidoro added.
Meanwhile, the Chamber is also awaiting the official order from the government that will limit the areas to be mined out to pave the way for progressive rehabilitation.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu is expected to sign anytime soon the new DAO which will limit production areas from 50 to 162 hectares only, depending on the mine’s annual production volumes.
Nickel mines that are producing up to one million metric tons annually will be allowed to work on 50 hectares and can reach up to 100 hectares for those with output of more than nine million MT.
Mine sites with processing plants can develop up to 162 hectares.