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31 May 2010

Philippine mining industry expected to draw $1.4bn in investment

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The Philippines is expected to meet its target of drawing up to $1.4 billion worth of investments in the capital intensive and politically sensitive mining industry, the GMA News reported, quoting Bureau of Mines and Geosciences director Edwin Domingo.

Domingo said local and foreign companies remained optimistic about the earning potential of mineral-rich prospects in the Philippines.

He said that Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, was among the international miners keen on investing in the Philippines.

Freeport-McMoRan vice president David Potter has informed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that the company was interested in investing up to $5 billion in the development of the Swiss-led Tampakan copper-gold project in South Cotabato, Domingo said.

The American company has mining projects in North and South America, Africa and Indonesia. Its assets include the Grasberg mining complex, reportedly the world’s biggest copper and gold mine in terms of recoverable reserves.

The Tampakan project, on the other hand, is one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the Southeast Asia-Western Pacific region. When developed, it would be the biggest mining project in the Philippines and one of the top 10 copper mines in the world.

Domingo also cited recent announcements that TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc., a subsidiary of Canada’s TVI Pacific Inc., had signed a joint venture with DMCI subsidiary Dacon on a $2-million project to explore TVIRD’s greater Canatuan tenement area in Zamboanga del Norte.

In a January disclosure to the Australian Stock Exchange, TVI Pacific said the partnership with Dacon provided an opportunity to extend the mine life at Canatuan by further evaluating identified deposits and possibly locating new prospects.

Meanwhile, Vale Exploration Pty. Ltd., the world’s second-largest mining company, is applying for an exploration permit in Iloilo and has signed a $6-million deal with Australian miner Royalco Resources Ltd.


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