Philippines estimates $ 2 billion surge in revenues from mining exports

The Philippines’ annual export revenue from its mineral extraction industry could increase by up to $2 billion over the next five to six years as new mining projects take off, the Southeast Asian country’s government said.

In April this year, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte had lifted a moratorium on new mineral agreements imposed in 2012, reopening the door to mining investments as the government seeks to boost state coffers and revive a pandemic-hit economy.

“The extractive industries are likely to witness substantial growth in the next five to six years owing to new mining projects in the pipeline,” the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) said in a statement. “Potential new mines will increase exports by $ 1 billion to $ 2 billion every year in the short- and long term, as well as employ as many as 1.3 times more workers”, it added.

The PH-EITI is the local branch of Norway-based EITI, the organisation which implements a global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources. The Philippines government presented the revenue projection in PH-EITI’s latest country report, which was presented to nearly 400 mining, oil, gas, and coal stakeholders during a virtual conference on July 29.

It projects an increase up to 43 billion pesos ($856 million) annually in mineral production until 2027 as new mines start operating.

The Philippines is China’s biggest supplier of nickel ore and also has substantial copper and gold reserves. The country’s mineral export revenues last year reached $4.97 billion, or 7.9% of the country’s total export receipts, data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau showed. The Philippines government is also looking to lift a four-year-old ban on open-pit mining, a move that will allow big-ticket projects to resume, such as the long-stalled $5.9 billion Tampakan copper-gold mine development in South Cotabato province.

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