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26/04/2013: PH Seeks Fresh Investments from US for Expanding Minerals Sector


25 April 2013


WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Philippines is seeking fresh investments from the United States to sustain the momentum of its fast expanding minerals sector to allow it to surpass the more than the $4 billion in revenues it was able to generate last year.

In a statement, the Philippine Embassy said mining is one of the key sectors that Manila wants promoted during the 2nd Investment Roadshow organized by Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. in coordination with the Philippine Consulates General in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

“The positive outlook presented by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines is expected to translate to new investments in our minerals sector,” Ambassador Cuisia said as he pointed to the more than $20 billion in ongoing mining projects that include a number that require additional investments.

In his presentations before American corporate and government executives and Filipino-American businessmen in Los Angeles and Chicago, Chamber of Mines President Benjamin Philip Romualdez disclosed that the positive outlook in the mineral development sector will allow the government to surpass its investment target for 2013 from $718 million to $1 billion.

“In 2011, Philippine mines yielded a total gross mineral production of $4 billion with large-scale mines accounting for $2.2 billion and small-scale mines and non-metallic mines producing $1.88 billion,” said Romualdez, who is also Chief Executive Officer of Benguet Corporation.

“As of October 2012, some 1,600 exploration, mining, and processing applications are currently under process while some $20 billion of permitted projects are now in various stages of development, including a number that need fresh investments,” he added.

According to Romualdez, the big-ticket items that are currently in the pipeline are the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project of Sagittarius Mines, Inc.; Far Southeast Copper-Gold Project of Gold Fields/Lepanto; Boyongan Copper-Gold Project of Philex Mining/Silangan Mindanao Mining; Didipio Copper-Gold Mine of Oceanagold; Balatoc Tailings Project and Greater Acupan Gold Project of Benguet Corporation; and Co-O Gold Project of Philsaga Mining Corporation;

Romualdez said the Philippines is ideal for mining investors not only because of its wide selection of brownfield projects in gold, copper, nickel, iron ore, manganese and chromite but also because of the existence of a legal regime that allows for 100 percent foreign ownership of mining projects through Financing or Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAA) or a 60/40 sharing through Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA).

“There is also a strict implementation of a ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ policy to deter speculators in order to allow new opportunities for serious mining players,” he said. “The mining industry also continues to work with government on policy reforms to improve revenue sharing and accountability, as well as enhance the regulation and monitoring of all mining operations.”

“Our competitive advantage for the mining sector is not only the strategic location of the Philippines in Southeast Asia but that allows it to be a major center of trade and commerce and the main gateway to major mineral markets in Asia,” Romualdez said. ###