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5 January 2010
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Philippines: Mining projects to bank on metal price hikes

Five mining projects worth $185 million in the Philippines are expected to start operations in the first quarter to take advantage of rising metal prices, as the global economic recovery leads to increased demand, report GMAnews.TV, a local news online.

“These are not the so-called big-ticket projects, but they are significant as well since they will be contributing to the projected increase in mineral production for the year," a mining official told reporters on Monday.

At least one cement project owned by San Miguel President Ramon Ang and four direct ore shipping projects will start operating this quarter, the official, who did not wish to be identified, said.

Ang-led Eagle Cement Corp. in San Idelfonso, Bulacan is spending as much as $160 million for the project that will serve areas north of Manila.

The plant is expected to churn out 1.5 million metric tons of cement or about 35.2 million bags yearly. Daily output is expected at 4,000 metric tons or 100,000 bags of cement.

Meanwhile, four mining firms are planning to delve into direct nickel ore shipments. Century Peak Nickel Corp.’s is putting in $10 million for a one-million metric tons of yearly.

Oriental Synergy’s Surigao nickel project will cost about $6 million for as much as 1.8 million metric tons of annual productions.

Marc Ventures Mining and Development Corp. spent $4.5 million with an annual output of 1.2 million metric tons of nickel ore, while Minahang Bayan ng Mamamayan sa Dinagat Island, a mining cooperative in Surigao del Norte, has spent around $4 million for one million metric tons of annual capacity.

Investments in the capital-intensive mining industry fell short of an already downscaled $650-million 2009 full-year target by almost half, data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau showed. Government and industry officials earlier said tight credit had forced miners to downscale or shelve plans altogether.

The Philippines is said to be sitting atop $1 trillion worth of unexplored gold, copper, silver and nickel resources.


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