Unveiling the Potential of Mining in the Philippines

What is the Current State of Mining in the Philippines?

The current administration opened a new chapter in the Philippine mining sector. The current President has placed greater priority on the revitalization of the mining sector compared to the previous ones. His reason? Simply because they see mining in the Philippines holding the greatest potential to be a key driver of the economy.

This increased focus on reviving the mining sector in the Philippines signals a new era of welcoming, considering the backlash and the negative undertones that surrounded the mining industry under the past administrations.

In their belief, a flourishing mining sector not only boosts economic growth but also secures the country’s long-term stability. Thus, as it stands, mining in the Philippines is experiencing a resurgence, with increased metal production and export value.

Exploring the Untapped Potential of Mining in the Philippines

Based on available data, the Philippines proudly stands among the world’s most richly endowed mineral resources countries. An estimated $1 trillion worth of copper, gold, nickel, zinc, and silver reserves are apparently untapped in the country. Surprisingly, only 5% of these reserves have been explored, with 3% of these being covered by mining contracts. This leaves a vast expanse of resources waiting to be unearthed. 

Mining in the Philippines: In Its Rebounding Glory

Metal production in the Philippines surged almost 32% in 2022. Moreover, the total export value for 2020-2022 amounted to PHP 1 Trillion, representing 8.51% of the country’s total exports. 

Sustainable Practices at the Forefront of Mining Activities

In response to the negative perceptions surrounding the mining industry, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has aligned the guidelines for the Social Development and Management Programs (SDMP) of mining companies operating in the Philippines with the 2023-2028 Philippine Development Plant. This move underscores the government’s dedication to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals of the country. 

The administration advocates for responsible and sustainable mining practices, aiming to strike a balance between environmental protection, community welfare, and the government’s socioeconomic agenda. This includes initiatives to rehabilitate mined-out areas and undertake progressive rehabilitation efforts.

Opportunities for Investors

These initiatives to further progress the mining industry open the floor for various investment opportunities, especially amid high mineral prices and strong demand for critical minerals. 

Processing Plants and Operating Mines in the Philippines 

As of writing, present data show the presence of 56 operating metallic mines and 7 processing plants in the Philippines, employing around 228,843 workers. The Mines and Geosciences Bureau predicts an additional 190 mining projects in the next four years.

Major Mining Projects in the Philippines

Here are some of the significant mining projects under development and construction in the Philippines:

Silangan Project in Surigao Del Norte 

 

  • Developed by Silangan Mindanao Mining Co., Inc
  • Feasibility studies were completed last January 2020
  • Expected to commence its mining operations by March 2025

Tampakan Copper/Gold Mine 

 

  • A priority project located in southern Mindanao 
  • This project will take on the largest untapped minefield in Southeast Asia
  • Estimated to contain vast amounts of copper and gold 
  • Expected to start operations in 2026

King-King Copper-Gold Project 

 

  • Located in Davao de Oro 
  • Predicted to recover substantial amounts of copper and gold 
  • Environmental Impact Statement and Assessment underway (2023)

Mabilo Gold/Copper Project 

 

  • Located in Camarines Norte
  • Feasibility studies have been executed with ongoing financial considerations 

Mankayan Gold/Copper Mine 

 

  • Located in Benguet
  • Initial drilling phases were completed last 2023, with further exploration ongoing

Final Thoughts on Mining in the Philippines

In conclusion, the Philippines stands at the threshold of a promising era in its mining sector. With its revitalization, there’s a renewed focus on unleashing the country’s vast mineral resources for economic growth and long-term stability. This resurgence is evident in the significant increase in metal production and export value, reflecting the sector’s rebounding glory.

Moreover, sustainable practices are now at the forefront of mining activities, aligning with the government’s commitment to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The adoption of responsible mining practices, coupled with initiatives to rehabilitate mined-out areas, underscores the balance between environmental protection, community welfare, and economic progress.

For investors, this presents a ripe opportunity amid high mineral prices and strong demand for critical minerals. The presence of numerous operating mines and processing plants, along with the prospect of additional mining projects in the pipeline, further solidifies the Philippines’ position as an attractive investment destination.

As major mining projects like Silangan, Tampakan, King-King, Mabilo, and Mankayan move towards development and construction, the future of the Philippine mining sector appears promising. With careful stewardship and sustainable practices, the country is poised to unlock the full potential of its mineral wealth, contributing to both national development and global sustainability efforts.

If You Need a Mining Partner, We’re Ready to Work With You

Kabraso Multipurpose Cooperative is a local manpower cooperative that offers custom-tailored solutions to businesses within the mining sector. 

To explore investment opportunities in the flourishing Philippine mining sector and contribute to its sustainable growth, contact us today. Let’s partner for a prosperous future built on responsible mining practices and economic development.

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