Some mining updates, mid-May 2017

Post-Gina Lopez PH mining industry environment, there is more calm. That means miners can do their business more quietly with less politics and drama. Sources of the 3 reports below:

DOF’s Dominguez tells…
Legislator says fiscal regime…
Cimatu open to…

MIN
And from Manila Standard,

http://thestandard.com.ph/news/top-stories/236657/mines-growth-potential-stressed.html
Mines’ growth potential stressed
posted May 15, 2017 by  Christine F. Herrera

DESPITE its high potential for growth, the mining industry faces three major challenges—the new administration’s stand on mining, existing debate on the industry’s fiscal regime, and existing impositions from previous administrations that have kept employment levels low.

A study undertaken by the Department of Labor and Employment’s Institute for Labor Studies observed that the Duterte administration’s stand on “responsible mining” and its most recent actions have kept mining companies on their toes.

The study, commissioned by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, asked the mining companies if they intentionally reduced their workforce at any time in 2015….

Some respondents said they were through with the exploration stage, but the enactment of Executive Order 79 stopped them from moving on to the mining production stage.

This meant some were left with only a skeletal force in their offices. Further restraints such as limiting mining areas and DENR suspensions further diminished the number of opportunities in the mining industry….

“While government policy direction and change in policy and regulatory environment are similar, the difference between these two factors is that government policy direction is seen in a more general sense, touching on concepts such as the impact on industry: If government were to prioritize the development of the mining industry as a whole; if new export policies are to be implemented; if new trade deals are signed; if there is an upgrade in the credit rating, and so on,” the study said.

The study found that many respondents saw “a blurry outlook” under the Duterte administration….

The development of manufacturing sector should be encouraged, the study said, and this can be done through incentives and creation of industrial zones.

“The development of the manufacturing sector, specifically those engaged in the smelting and refining of metallic and non-metallic minerals, in the Philippines would very much need support from the government. PASAR is, at the moment, monopolizing the smelting and refining of copper. Meanwhile, Nickel Asia has its own mineral processing facilities. Freeing the market from barriers… would allow the entry of manufacturing firms,” it said….

The Manila Standard, in its recent visit to the mine site of Nickel Asia in Rio Tuba, Palawan, found that the company has put up its own school, mostly for the children of indigenous people and their employees’ children for free, with teachers trained and accredited by the De La Salle University. The teachers, who were uprooted mostly from big universities, were well-compensated and received as much as P50,000 in salaries a month.

The Nickel Asia also has its own hospital that serves the residents and employees for free.

But the study also showed work in the mining industry is very hazardous, hence there is a need to ensure the safety and health of mining workers is a priority….

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