Mindanao: Bowl of mineral deposits PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 August 2011 17:08

Mindanao is not only a food basket but also a bowl of mineral deposit as it holds the country’s biggest volume of gold, nickel and copper.
Philippine Chamber of Mines in the Philippines Chairman Artemio F. Disini revealed in his presentation during the recently concluded Mindanao Mining Summit that Mindanao have so much minerals to mine.
Using a data from the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB), Disini showed that 44 percent or 2.968 billion metric tons (MT) of the country’s 6.757 billion MT total copper mineral resources, can be mined in Mindanao.

In terms of gold resources, Mindanao holds 3.057 billion MT or 76 percent of the country’s 4.018 billion MT total gold deposits , and that it treasures 954 million MT nickel or 57 percent of the 1.665 billion MT total nickel deposits.

Mindanao consequently is raking in the biggest investments share of mining projects which are set to start operating within 2013 to 2017. Such investments are projected to turn in substantial revenues.

Disini further revealed that Mindanao corners US$8.2 billion or 78 percent of the US$10.5 billion total copper project investments nationwide.
The revenue projection of such copper project investments for Mindanao alone is expected to reach US$3.6 billion when production starts within 2015 to 2017.
More than half, specifically US$203 million of the US$353 million total investments for gold projects go to Mindanao where five mining companies are in the pipeline to start their operation within 2013 to 2017.

Such gold mining projects in Mindanao are seen to contribute US$1.2 billion revenue or 34 percent to the US$3.5 billion national revenues which can be generated once actual gold mining operation start.

Mindanao also gets US$2.5 billion or 51 percent of the country’s US$ 4.9 billion total investments for nickel mining projects. With such level of investment, Mindanao would eventually bring in US$3 billion revenue or 73 percent to total projected national revenue of US$ 4.1 billion when copper production starts within 2012 to 2017.

With so much investments for minerals production nationwide, Disini revealed that copper production will go up from 58,000 MT in 2010 to 714,00 MT in 2018 with its export revenue value leaping from US$ 343 million to US$ 4.942 billion.

By 2018, Gold production will also increase from 41 MT to 88 MT, elevating export revenue of such mineral to USS3.473 billion from US$ 1.533 billion in 2010.
In the same year, Nickel production is seen to soar from 19,000 MT to 194,000 MT with its export revenue estimated value rising to US$4.070 billion from US$213 million in 2010.

The new investments being poured into the minerals industry are bringing along employment benefits to 1.75 million more Filipinos. This is in addition to the 8.5 million Filipinos who are currently benefiting directly from such industry based on the 2010 Mining Industry Statistics.

In the same event, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje confirmed the presence of a substantial volume of minerals t in the country saying “research tells us that the Philippines has more than US$840 billion worth of untapped minerals deposits.”

He, however, emphasized the need to “responsibly harness” such wealth so it could become a “ticket to boost the country’s economy.”
Paje called on stakeholders especially mining investors to conscientiously practice responsible mining taking into consideration the socio-economic equitable sharing of
benefits while adequately protecting the environment.

Paje affirmed DENR’s support to mining industry but he bared having weeded out the non-performing mining investors and cleansed DENR’s list of pending applications by approving only 530 and denying 1,606 applications.