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 on Thursday.
President Rodrigo Duterte in April 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 to 2 billion USD every year in the short- and long terms, as well as employ as many as 1.3 times more workers”.
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 up to 43 billion pesos ($856 million) annual increase in mineral production until 2027 as new mines come online.
The Philippines is China’s biggest supplier of nickel ore and also has substantial copper and gold reserves. 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 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.