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February 19, 2024
As part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security, formerly Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), an On-the-Job Training Course on Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation was conducted at the abandoned mine site of Barlo Mine located in Mabini, Pangasinan on January 31 to February 2, 2024. The training aims to capacitate the selected MGB personnel regarding hands-on experience in water system surveys, computation of water flow rate, and preparation of water flow and metal load balance sheet. Likewise, the said training is essential for MGB personnel to understand the current condition of the abandoned mine area, identify the sources of mine pollution and other concerns, formulate efficient countermeasures to address the mine pollution, and prioritize the measures to be implemented, especially with a limited budget. The following were the topics discussed by JOGMEC during the said training at the abandoned mine: (1) Water System Survey for Mine Pollution Control; and (2) Field survey and Analysis of Mine Drainage from Abandoned Mines. The said training was participated by six (6) technical personnel from MGB Central Office and selected MGB Regional Offices such as CAR, I, III, MIMAROPA, and V.   Article courtesy of the MGB
February 19, 2024
As part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security, formerly Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), an On-the-Job Training Course on Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation was conducted at the abandoned mine site of Barlo Mine located in Mabini, Pangasinan on January 31 to February 2, 2024. The training aims to capacitate the selected MGB personnel regarding hands-on experience in water system surveys, computation of water flow rate, and preparation of water flow and metal load balance sheet. Likewise, the said training is essential for MGB personnel to understand the current condition of the abandoned mine area, identify the sources of mine pollution and other concerns, formulate efficient countermeasures to address the mine pollution, and prioritize the measures to be implemented, especially with a limited budget. The following were the topics discussed by JOGMEC during the said training at the abandoned mine: (1) Water System Survey for Mine Pollution Control; and (2) Field survey and Analysis of Mine Drainage from Abandoned Mines. The said training was participated by six (6) technical personnel from MGB Central Office and selected MGB Regional Offices such as CAR, I, III, MIMAROPA, and V.   Article courtesy of the MGB
February 19, 2024
The much-awaited inter-island bridge project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Northern Mindanao is on the verge of completion this year, with funding poised to play a pivotal role. Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, in-charge of DPWH infrastructure flagship projects, said that civil works for the 3.17-kilometer Panguil Bay Bridge Project connecting Tangub City, Misamis Occidental, and Tubod, Lanao del Norte is targeted to finish this 2024 with the necessary funding remains paramount to ensure the project's full completion. In the recent inspection of Senior Undersecretary Sadain, he noted that despite progress made in construction which is at 89 percent completion, funding challenges in the DPWH 2023 and 2024 national budget for this infrastructure flagship project threatens to prolong the project timeline. Nonetheless, we are optimistic that the implementing office Unified Project Management Office-Roads Management Cluster II (Multilateral) together with the contractors and consultants will be able make up for the unprecedented delays brought by absence of sufficient funding and bad weather conditions in Mindanao the last several days to finish the Panguil Bay Bridge Project in a few months from now, Senior Undersecretary Sadain reported to DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan. Also present in the project inspection are UPMO Project Directors Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim and Benjamin A. Bautista, and Project Managers Teresita V. Bauzon and Marlon V. Galerio. DPWH is enthusiastic on its continuous efforts to deliver the Panguil Bay Bridge Project’s completion further promoting the “Build Better More” agenda under the “Bagong Pilipinas” brand of governance and leadership of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. The design and build contractor Namkwang Engineering & Construction Corporation in joint venture with Kukdong Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. and Gumgwang Construction Co., Ltd together with project consultant Yooshin Engineering Corporation in joint venture with Pyunghwa Engineering Consultants Ltd. and Kyong-Ho Engineering & Architects Co., Ltd. are in an all-out effort in its resource management and are maintaining a cohesive working environment. The Panguil Bay Bridge Project consists of the main bridge (extra-dosed type) 320 meters long, a 1,920-meter-long approach bridge made of pre-stressed concrete girders, and an approach road. With the segment closure of the main bridge at pylons 1 and 2 and the corresponding approach road underway, the people of Lanao Del Norte and Misamis Occidental including the tourists alike can look forward to easier access and enhanced connectivity with the dawn of a new era in interisland transportation. The completion of Panguil Bay Bridge Project will mark a significant milestone in Mindanao's infrastructure development. This engineering marvel will significantly reduce travel time, boost economic growth, and enhance transportation links between provinces of Northern and Central Mindanao, and Zamboanga Peninsula. In line with the DPWH INFRAgenda 2028 Strategic Plan, the design and build of the Panguil Bay Bridge Project is targeted to establish a seven (7)-minute inter-island connectivity with Tangub City, Misamis Occidental, and Tubod, Lanao del Norte as opposed to the current access connectivity through Roll-On, Roll-Off (RoRo) vessel which has a travel time of about two (2) hours to two and a half (2.5) hours including loading and unloading time.
February 05, 2024
Vietnam’s largest real estate firm Vingroup has expressed interest in investing in the production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries in the Philippines, Malacañang said Tuesday. The plan was discussed during President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s meeting with Vingroup executives on the first day of his state visit to Vietnam on Monday, Presidential Communications Operations (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement. Garafil said Marcos is elated by the “timely” offer of Vingroup, given that the country is currently implementing the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP). During the meeting, Marcos acknowledged the importance of Vingroup’s planned investment in the EV battery production, as he stressed that old jeepneys and tricycles will be replaced with modern units. “I am very happy to note your interest in expanding your operations to the Philippines and you’ve just begun organizing offices there. And I think there is much that you could do,” Marcos told Vingroup’s top executives, as quoted by the PCO. “The Vingroup is well-known in the Philippines because we are very much aligned [with] what we would like to do in the future in terms of electrical vehicle battery production,” he added. Marcos told Vingroup officials led by chairperson Pham Nhat Vuong and vice chairperson and chief executive officer (CEO) Nguyen Viet Quang, that the Philippine government is consolidating the PUV operators and drivers into cooperatives and finalizing the vehicles’ specification. He added that with regard to EVs, there is a proposal to leave the market open to have many suppliers to hasten the full implementation of the PUVMP. Marcos also touted the ”young, skilled, and educated” Filipino workforce as “one of the [country’s] greatest assets,” noting that providing scholarships, upskilling and reskilling are crucial in empowering them. “The key to taking the full advantage of that workforce is for the skills… to get them [workers] to acquire the skills that are necessary for cybersecurity, digital banking, digital transfers of money and of course AI (artificial intelligence),” he said. In a Facebook post after his meeting with Vingroup, Marcos said the government looks forward to its future collaboration with the Vietnamese company on EV production and local mineral processing. He also thanked the firm for the offer of about 20 scholarships aimed at making the Filipinos “competitive in this digital era.” Garafil said the Philippines could support Vingroup’s venture, noting that the country has good reserves of nickel, cobalt, and copper. “Although the Philippines is currently exporting minerals, it would like to increase the value in the Philippines by doing the processing in the country, Marcos said,” she said. Vingroup is a multi-sector corporation that focuses on technology and industry, trade and services and social enterprise. Serving as one of Vietnam's leading private enterprises, Vingroup continues to pioneer and lead consumer trends in each of its businesses and has created a respected, well-recognized Vietnamese brand. Its subsidiary, Vinfast, is registering its subsidiary in the Philippines (Vinfast Philippines) to implement their entry into EV marketing, energy storage and nickel processing partnerships, state-run Radio Television Malacañang said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page. For his part, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual urged VinFast to explore opportunities beyond opening dealership networks in the Philippines. Pascual, who accompanied President Marcos in Vietnam, said VinFast has more opportunities in the Philippine market beyond selling its EVs through dealership business, which will open by April 2024. He said the country becomes an attractive EV market with the issuance of Executive Order (EO) 12 which eliminates duty on completely built-up units of certain EVs. "The Philippines welcomes investments in the EV sector as we position the country as a hub for smart and sustainability-driven manufacturing and services industries in Southeast Asia. Hence, we encourage you to explore other investment opportunities besides EV sales and dealerships," he said in a statement. The DTI chief also presented the opportunities for the company in mineral processing in the Philippines, which is part of the EV supply chain. Pascual also said the government provides green lane treatment for strategic investments like mineral processing. In October 2023, VinFast representatives visited the Philippines where they met local mining companies. Pascual similarly urged the Vingroup Joint Stock Company to look into opportunities in the tourism and healthcare sectors. "As we work to increase our FDIs (foreign direct investments) from Vietnam and advance our economic cooperation, we hope that VinFast will make it happen in the Philippines," Pascual said. The administration targets to be the second highest FDI destination in ASEAN by 2028. Excluding Singapore, top FDI destinations in the region are Indonesia and Vietnam. The Philippines net FDI inflows of USD5.88 billion in the third quarter last year already overtook Malaysia's USD4.99 billion and Thailand's USD4.44 billion.
February 05, 2024
Vietnam’s largest real estate firm Vingroup has expressed interest in investing in the production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries in the Philippines, Malacañang said Tuesday. The plan was discussed during President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s meeting with Vingroup executives on the first day of his state visit to Vietnam on Monday, Presidential Communications Operations (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement. Garafil said Marcos is elated by the “timely” offer of Vingroup, given that the country is currently implementing the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP). During the meeting, Marcos acknowledged the importance of Vingroup’s planned investment in the EV battery production, as he stressed that old jeepneys and tricycles will be replaced with modern units. “I am very happy to note your interest in expanding your operations to the Philippines and you’ve just begun organizing offices there. And I think there is much that you could do,” Marcos told Vingroup’s top executives, as quoted by the PCO. “The Vingroup is well-known in the Philippines because we are very much aligned [with] what we would like to do in the future in terms of electrical vehicle battery production,” he added. Marcos told Vingroup officials led by chairperson Pham Nhat Vuong and vice chairperson and chief executive officer (CEO) Nguyen Viet Quang, that the Philippine government is consolidating the PUV operators and drivers into cooperatives and finalizing the vehicles’ specification. He added that with regard to EVs, there is a proposal to leave the market open to have many suppliers to hasten the full implementation of the PUVMP. Marcos also touted the ”young, skilled, and educated” Filipino workforce as “one of the [country’s] greatest assets,” noting that providing scholarships, upskilling and reskilling are crucial in empowering them. “The key to taking the full advantage of that workforce is for the skills… to get them [workers] to acquire the skills that are necessary for cybersecurity, digital banking, digital transfers of money and of course AI (artificial intelligence),” he said. In a Facebook post after his meeting with Vingroup, Marcos said the government looks forward to its future collaboration with the Vietnamese company on EV production and local mineral processing. He also thanked the firm for the offer of about 20 scholarships aimed at making the Filipinos “competitive in this digital era.” Garafil said the Philippines could support Vingroup’s venture, noting that the country has good reserves of nickel, cobalt, and copper. “Although the Philippines is currently exporting minerals, it would like to increase the value in the Philippines by doing the processing in the country, Marcos said,” she said. Vingroup is a multi-sector corporation that focuses on technology and industry, trade and services and social enterprise. Serving as one of Vietnam's leading private enterprises, Vingroup continues to pioneer and lead consumer trends in each of its businesses and has created a respected, well-recognized Vietnamese brand. Its subsidiary, Vinfast, is registering its subsidiary in the Philippines (Vinfast Philippines) to implement their entry into EV marketing, energy storage and nickel processing partnerships, state-run Radio Television Malacañang said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page. For his part, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual urged VinFast to explore opportunities beyond opening dealership networks in the Philippines. Pascual, who accompanied President Marcos in Vietnam, said VinFast has more opportunities in the Philippine market beyond selling its EVs through dealership business, which will open by April 2024. He said the country becomes an attractive EV market with the issuance of Executive Order (EO) 12 which eliminates duty on completely built-up units of certain EVs. "The Philippines welcomes investments in the EV sector as we position the country as a hub for smart and sustainability-driven manufacturing and services industries in Southeast Asia. Hence, we encourage you to explore other investment opportunities besides EV sales and dealerships," he said in a statement. The DTI chief also presented the opportunities for the company in mineral processing in the Philippines, which is part of the EV supply chain. Pascual also said the government provides green lane treatment for strategic investments like mineral processing. In October 2023, VinFast representatives visited the Philippines where they met local mining companies. Pascual similarly urged the Vingroup Joint Stock Company to look into opportunities in the tourism and healthcare sectors. "As we work to increase our FDIs (foreign direct investments) from Vietnam and advance our economic cooperation, we hope that VinFast will make it happen in the Philippines," Pascual said. The administration targets to be the second highest FDI destination in ASEAN by 2028. Excluding Singapore, top FDI destinations in the region are Indonesia and Vietnam. The Philippines net FDI inflows of USD5.88 billion in the third quarter last year already overtook Malaysia's USD4.99 billion and Thailand's USD4.44 billion.
February 15, 2024
The global nickel market has recently experienced a significant downturn, marked by a sharp decline in nickel prices, plummeting by over 50% within 12 months. This unsettling trend has reverberated across nickel mines worldwide, impacting the Philippine mining industry. As nickel prices continue their downward spiral, Philippine mines face mounting challenges, necessitating new strategies, and fortifying the industry’s resilience amidst uncertain market dynamics. What factors are driving the price of this critical metal down, and what implications does it hold for Philippine nickel mines? Understanding the Nickel Market Dynamics Nickel, primarily utilized in stainless steel production and recently designated as a critical mineral by the USGS, has witnessed its prices decline, due to an influx of cheap supply from Indonesia. China's substantial investments in Indonesia's Morowali Industrial Park have bolstered Indonesia's influence on global nickel supply chains.1 Consequently, China’s ownership of processing units has enabled it to control nickel production, influencing prices worldwide. This influence poses a significant challenge to global nickel mines, including those in the Philippines. The reactions of the global nickel industry, characterized by mine closures and production halts, foreshadow potential challenges for Philippine mines if prices continue to slump without government intervention. Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals (TSX: FM) was the first to take a hit after it announced the suspension of its Ravensthorpe nickel mine operation in Western Australia.2 Panoramic Resources (ASX: PAN), entered voluntary administration, ceasing mining activities at their Savannah nickel mine.3 Construction works at cosmos nickel operation by IGO (ASX: IGO) was halted.4 BHP also shut down its nickel processing plant in Western Australia following Wyloo Metals’ announcement to temporarily close its nickel mine.5 Finally, Glencore (LON:GLN) announced it will sell its stake in Koniambo Nickel SAS (KNS) in New Caledonia and that production at KNS's processing plant will be halted for six months while a new investor is sought for the loss-making business.6 Despite closure of these mines, nickel continues to slump, putting the entire industry in uncertainties. Nickel Price (13 February 2024) 7 Impact on Production and Investment The decline in nickel prices will exert pressure on mining companies operating in the Philippines. With lower prices, many mining operations will face reduced profitability, prompting some companies to balance cost and production output. Investment in new mining ventures will also be affected by the downturn in nickel prices. Investors, cautious of uncertain returns amid price volatility, will become more selective in funding mining projects. This cautious approach will slow down the development of new nickel mines and exploration activities in the Philippines, impacting the long-term growth prospects of the industry. Among the nickel projects on the line are the following. Nickel Asia Corporation’s Bulanjao Mine and Manicani Mine Last April 2023, Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) (NIKL: PSE) The country’s largest nickel producer announced that it will bring two (2) more nickel mines in three years and assess the viability of another HPAL Plant. Nickel Asia is targeting annual nickel ore production of at least 4 million wet metric tonnes (WMT) from the Bulanjao mine, near its existing Rio Tuba mining site in the southwestern Palawan province, and at least 2 million WMT from Manicani mine in central Samar province.8 Philex Mining Corporation’s Nickel Project Philex Mining Corporation (PX: PSE) also announced in September 2023 it is looking into developing their nickel property in Zambales. Philex has been trying to raise capital for this project along with its Silangan Copper Mine in Surigao. DMCI Mining Projects DMCI Mining also announced it would spend about P250 million to develop a nickel mining project in Zambales. It will be developed inside an existing field operated by subsidiary Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. (ZDMC) and to be run by another unit, Zambales Chromite Mining Co. (ZCMC). It is estimated to produce approximately 20 million metric tons (MT).9 Employment and Economic Implications: The nickel mining industry is a significant contributor to employment and economic development of the country. However, the effects of low nickel prices will affect local communities and economies dependent on mining-related activities. A decline in mining investments and production can lead to job losses and reduced income opportunities for workers in the sector and related industries. Moreover, the ripple effects of a slowdown in mining activities can be felt across supply chains, affecting businesses that provide goods and services to the mining sector. As a result, communities reliant on mining for livelihoods may experience economic hardship and social challenges. Environmental and Social Considerations The closure of nickel mines can have far-reaching consequences for ecosystems and local communities, underscoring the need for responsible mining practices and stakeholder engagement. As mines grapple with economic pressures, environmental stewardship and social responsibility must remain central tenets of their operations to mitigate adverse impacts and foster sustainable development. Striking a balance between economic development and environmental sustainability remains a complex challenge for policymakers and stakeholders in the Philippine mining sector. Outlook and Opportunities The effects of low nickel prices on the Philippine mining industry are multifaceted, impacting production, investment, employment, and environmental sustainability. While nickel prices are influenced by global market dynamics beyond the control of domestic stakeholders, the Philippine mining sector must adapt to navigate the challenges posed by price volatility. In response, mining companies may explore strategies for operational efficiency, cost optimization, and increased production. Policymakers on the other hand can show its support for the industry through policy support and stability, investment incentives and infrastructure development. As the Philippine mining industry continues to evolve amidst fluctuating nickel prices and evolving regulatory frameworks, proactive measures and strategic partnerships will be crucial to ensuring the sector's long-term viability and contribution to national development. Stay strong nickel! References: Bloomberg. (2022, December 15). Chinese companies are flocking to Indonesia for its nickel. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-12-15/chinese-companies-are-flocking-to-indonesia-for-its-nickel ABC News. (2024, January 15). Ravensthorpe nickel mine to cut 30 per cent of workforce as mining ramps down. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-01-15/ravensthorpe-nickel-mine-to-cut-30-per-cent-of-workforce-as-mini/103322050 Australian Mining. (2023, December 15). Panoramic Resources enters voluntary administration. https://www.australianmining.com.au/panoramic-resources-enters-voluntary-administration/ Mining.com. (2024, January 30). IGO puts Cosmos nickel mine on care and maintenance. https://www.mining.com/web/igo-puts-cosmos-nickel-mine-on-care-and-maintenance/ Australian Mining. (2024, January 23). BHP shuts down WA nickel processing plant. https://www.australianmining.com.au/news/bhp-shuts-down-wa-nickel-processing-plant/ Reuters. (2024, February 12). Glencore to halt New Caledonia nickel plant, sell stake. https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/glencore-halt-new-caledonia-nickel-plant-sell-stake-2024-02-12/#:~:text=Feb%2012%20(Reuters)%20%2D%20Glencore,for%20the%20loss%2Dmaking%20business. Trading Economics. (2024, February 13). Nickel. https://tradingeconomics.com/commodity/nickel Reuters. (2023, April 25). Nickel Asia to open two more Philippine mines, eyes power unit IPO. https://www.reuters.com/article/nickel-asia-philippines/update-1-nickel-asia-to-open-two-more-philippine-mines-eyes-power-unit-ipo-idUSL4N2ZS1JK Inquirer Business. (2023, September 26). DMCI Mining readies 2 new sites after breaking 2022 Record
February 15, 2024
The global nickel market has recently experienced a significant downturn, marked by a sharp decline in nickel prices, plummeting by over 50% within 12 months. This unsettling trend has reverberated across nickel mines worldwide, impacting the Philippine mining industry. As nickel prices continue their downward spiral, Philippine mines face mounting challenges, necessitating new strategies, and fortifying the industry’s resilience amidst uncertain market dynamics. What factors are driving the price of this critical metal down, and what implications does it hold for Philippine nickel mines? Understanding the Nickel Market Dynamics Nickel, primarily utilized in stainless steel production and recently designated as a critical mineral by the USGS, has witnessed its prices decline, due to an influx of cheap supply from Indonesia. China's substantial investments in Indonesia's Morowali Industrial Park have bolstered Indonesia's influence on global nickel supply chains.1 Consequently, China’s ownership of processing units has enabled it to control nickel production, influencing prices worldwide. This influence poses a significant challenge to global nickel mines, including those in the Philippines. The reactions of the global nickel industry, characterized by mine closures and production halts, foreshadow potential challenges for Philippine mines if prices continue to slump without government intervention. Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals (TSX: FM) was the first to take a hit after it announced the suspension of its Ravensthorpe nickel mine operation in Western Australia.2 Panoramic Resources (ASX: PAN), entered voluntary administration, ceasing mining activities at their Savannah nickel mine.3 Construction works at cosmos nickel operation by IGO (ASX: IGO) was halted.4 BHP also shut down its nickel processing plant in Western Australia following Wyloo Metals’ announcement to temporarily close its nickel mine.5 Finally, Glencore (LON:GLN) announced it will sell its stake in Koniambo Nickel SAS (KNS) in New Caledonia and that production at KNS's processing plant will be halted for six months while a new investor is sought for the loss-making business.6 Despite closure of these mines, nickel continues to slump, putting the entire industry in uncertainties. Nickel Price (13 February 2024) 7 Impact on Production and Investment The decline in nickel prices will exert pressure on mining companies operating in the Philippines. With lower prices, many mining operations will face reduced profitability, prompting some companies to balance cost and production output. Investment in new mining ventures will also be affected by the downturn in nickel prices. Investors, cautious of uncertain returns amid price volatility, will become more selective in funding mining projects. This cautious approach will slow down the development of new nickel mines and exploration activities in the Philippines, impacting the long-term growth prospects of the industry. Among the nickel projects on the line are the following. Nickel Asia Corporation’s Bulanjao Mine and Manicani Mine Last April 2023, Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) (NIKL: PSE) The country’s largest nickel producer announced that it will bring two (2) more nickel mines in three years and assess the viability of another HPAL Plant. Nickel Asia is targeting annual nickel ore production of at least 4 million wet metric tonnes (WMT) from the Bulanjao mine, near its existing Rio Tuba mining site in the southwestern Palawan province, and at least 2 million WMT from Manicani mine in central Samar province.8 Philex Mining Corporation’s Nickel Project Philex Mining Corporation (PX: PSE) also announced in September 2023 it is looking into developing their nickel property in Zambales. Philex has been trying to raise capital for this project along with its Silangan Copper Mine in Surigao. DMCI Mining Projects DMCI Mining also announced it would spend about P250 million to develop a nickel mining project in Zambales. It will be developed inside an existing field operated by subsidiary Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. (ZDMC) and to be run by another unit, Zambales Chromite Mining Co. (ZCMC). It is estimated to produce approximately 20 million metric tons (MT).9 Employment and Economic Implications: The nickel mining industry is a significant contributor to employment and economic development of the country. However, the effects of low nickel prices will affect local communities and economies dependent on mining-related activities. A decline in mining investments and production can lead to job losses and reduced income opportunities for workers in the sector and related industries. Moreover, the ripple effects of a slowdown in mining activities can be felt across supply chains, affecting businesses that provide goods and services to the mining sector. As a result, communities reliant on mining for livelihoods may experience economic hardship and social challenges. Environmental and Social Considerations The closure of nickel mines can have far-reaching consequences for ecosystems and local communities, underscoring the need for responsible mining practices and stakeholder engagement. As mines grapple with economic pressures, environmental stewardship and social responsibility must remain central tenets of their operations to mitigate adverse impacts and foster sustainable development. Striking a balance between economic development and environmental sustainability remains a complex challenge for policymakers and stakeholders in the Philippine mining sector. Outlook and Opportunities The effects of low nickel prices on the Philippine mining industry are multifaceted, impacting production, investment, employment, and environmental sustainability. While nickel prices are influenced by global market dynamics beyond the control of domestic stakeholders, the Philippine mining sector must adapt to navigate the challenges posed by price volatility. In response, mining companies may explore strategies for operational efficiency, cost optimization, and increased production. Policymakers on the other hand can show its support for the industry through policy support and stability, investment incentives and infrastructure development. As the Philippine mining industry continues to evolve amidst fluctuating nickel prices and evolving regulatory frameworks, proactive measures and strategic partnerships will be crucial to ensuring the sector's long-term viability and contribution to national development. Stay strong nickel! References: Bloomberg. (2022, December 15). Chinese companies are flocking to Indonesia for its nickel. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-12-15/chinese-companies-are-flocking-to-indonesia-for-its-nickel ABC News. (2024, January 15). Ravensthorpe nickel mine to cut 30 per cent of workforce as mining ramps down. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-01-15/ravensthorpe-nickel-mine-to-cut-30-per-cent-of-workforce-as-mini/103322050 Australian Mining. (2023, December 15). Panoramic Resources enters voluntary administration. https://www.australianmining.com.au/panoramic-resources-enters-voluntary-administration/ Mining.com. (2024, January 30). IGO puts Cosmos nickel mine on care and maintenance. https://www.mining.com/web/igo-puts-cosmos-nickel-mine-on-care-and-maintenance/ Australian Mining. (2024, January 23). BHP shuts down WA nickel processing plant. https://www.australianmining.com.au/news/bhp-shuts-down-wa-nickel-processing-plant/ Reuters. (2024, February 12). Glencore to halt New Caledonia nickel plant, sell stake. https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/glencore-halt-new-caledonia-nickel-plant-sell-stake-2024-02-12/#:~:text=Feb%2012%20(Reuters)%20%2D%20Glencore,for%20the%20loss%2Dmaking%20business. Trading Economics. (2024, February 13). Nickel. https://tradingeconomics.com/commodity/nickel Reuters. (2023, April 25). Nickel Asia to open two more Philippine mines, eyes power unit IPO. https://www.reuters.com/article/nickel-asia-philippines/update-1-nickel-asia-to-open-two-more-philippine-mines-eyes-power-unit-ipo-idUSL4N2ZS1JK Inquirer Business. (2023, September 26). DMCI Mining readies 2 new sites after breaking 2022 Record
February 19, 2024
Weir’s Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer Paula Cousins recently spoke at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates about the importance of harnessing innovative technologies to make mining more sustainable.  In a panel discussion hosted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and moderated by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Cousins talked about a recent study that highlights a significant opportunity to reduce energy use and emissions in comminution. The study is the first to utilise the WBCSD’s Avoided Emissions Guidance to examine mining processes and the results have been independently assured by SLR Consulting Limited. Three of Weir’s technology combinations were evaluated against a conventional comminution circuit design for an archetypal mine processing 15 million tonnes of copper ore per year in Chile. Each circuit was based on a ‘rock to recovery’ system boundary – that’s to say, reducing rock direct from the mine to a size that enables the mineral to be recovered.     The four configurations were: Conventional comminution circuit based on a Semi-Autogenous Grinding (SAG) mill and ball mill.  Weir’s Enduron® High Pressure Grinding Rolls (HPGR) replacing the SAG mill at the initial grinding stage. Enduron® HPGR, plus Swiss Tower Mills’ (STM) vertical stirred mill replacing the ball mill. Addition of a Eriez’s HydroFloat® coarse particle flotation (CPF) unit. The study shows that replacing conventional technology with innovative new solutions can cut energy use by 40%, while also avoiding 50% of CO2e emissions. Close up of Enduron HPGR   The world needs more transition metals to achieve net zero, but the mining industry needs to extract these using significantly less energy and water, Cousins explained. ‘Our new, externally assured study highlights the potential for energy savings of 40% and for 50% of CO2e emissions to be avoided in comminution, the most energy intensive stage of mining processes,’ she said. ‘By adopting a systems-based approach to technology collaborations, we can help the mining industry scale up and clean up at the same time.’ The full results are published here:   Transformational Technologies Comminution equipment doesn’t operate in a vacuum – it’s part of a wider and deeply interlinked mineral processing plant where the comminution circuit’s overall performance significantly influences mineral recovery. Therefore, a holistic review of the overall circuit – from rock to recovery – is required. These circuits are prone to increased feed variability, which requires the right combination of size reduction and classification equipment to minimise the fluctuation in product quality, as this enables greater efficiencies in the recovery circuit, explains Bjorn Dierx, Weir Minerals Global Product Manager Enduron® HPGR and Vertical Stirred Mills. ‘Enduron HPGRs can adapt to changing feeding conditions instantly because the roll speed and grinding force can be changed while in operation; as a result, the most effective, minimal stress-intensity force is applied to the particles to ensure they break at the given throughput rate,’ he said. The STM mill has a vertical mill chamber, with grinding rotors (discs with castellations) installed on the central mill shaft. The mill feed is a slurry, pumped through the bottom of the mill and discharging from top. The mill chamber is filled with ceramic grinding media to approximately 60% of its volume. The grinding media bed moves only in the horizontal plane, which ensures energy isn’t wasted. The vertical mill arrangement, combined with bottom feed entry and top discharge, ensures coarse particles don’t short-circuit the mill. ‘The grinding circuit that delivers the highest recovery and the lowest possible energy consumption is achieved by combining these two proven technologies. The Enduron HPGR prepares the feed for the two-stage STM vertical stirred mill grinding concept,’ Dierx said. ‘This grinding circuit is followed by Eriez’s HydroFloat CPF technology, which allows the use of a coarser, rougher grind size, delivering the operator additional reductions in grinding energy-requirements.’ The recovery or efficiency of conventional flotation is strongly related to the particle size of the ore. ‘Eriez’s HydroFloat CPF represents a major step forward in terms of recovery, by extending flotation efficiency over a size range that is two to three times greater than conventional flotation machines’ limit,’ Dierx said.
November 12, 2023
In order pick up where everyone left off from the recent Mining Philippines 2023 last September, Philippine Mining and Exploration Association (PMEA) had a networking night last October 2, 2023 for the Monthly Membership Meeting. This enhanced the networking momentum from the previous mining event.
November 12, 2023
In order pick up where everyone left off from the recent Mining Philippines 2023 last September, Philippine Mining and Exploration Association (PMEA) had a networking night last October 2, 2023 for the Monthly Membership Meeting. This enhanced the networking momentum from the previous mining event.

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