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Philippine Resources - January 30, 2023

Proposed wealth fund another infra funding source: DOF chief

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno (File photo courtesy of DOF) The proposed sovereign wealth fund of the Philippines is another option to help finance the government’s infrastructure requirements, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Thursday. During the Philippine economic briefing attended by economic managers, officials of financial institutions, and foreign investors, among others, in London, United Kingdom, Diokno said the wealth fund is “designed to fund initially, or largely our infrastructure needs for generation.” He said the government wants to take advantage of the availability of funds onshore, which is on top of the financing that the government can borrow from such multilaterals as the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). “But we have a lot of money within the country. For example, had we used the Malampaya Fund to fund this wealth fund, that’s about USD20 billion. We could have used that,” he said. The Malampaya Fund consists of what the government gets from the profits of the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power project in Palawan. It is used for energy resource development and exploration program of the estate, among others. Other possible funding sources for the proposed wealth fund are dividends from government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), as well as gains from the privatization of state assets, Diokno said. The government, he said, could also tap revenues collected from the mining sector, given its recent opening after being closed for about a decade. “So it’s another funding source for our big infrastructure needs. That’s basically it,” he said. Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman has said the Philippines is considering a wealth fund similar to the Indonesia Investment Authority. “So it’s more of funding our development, big-ticket infrastructure projects,” she said.

Mining

Philippine Resources - January 19, 2023

President Marcos meets Glencore CEO, other execs for potential deals

Photo: President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. meets officials of Glencore. Credit: Office of the President Facebook Page President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday met with the international chief executive officers (CEOs) to discuss potential business opportunities in the Philippines. A breakfast meeting was held between Marcos and the world's top CEOs in Davos, Switzerland to enable the President to present the investment climate in the Philippines, Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement. Marcos, Garafil said, was accompanied by the official Philippine delegation which include his Cabinet and top Philippine business leaders. "Top international CEOs gathered for a breakfast meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., his Cabinet, official delegation and the 7 top Philippine CEOs to discuss the investment climate in the Philippines and to find ways to facilitate their business operations in the country," she said. Marcos also had the chance to meet with Gokul Laroia, chairperson of investment banking powerhouse Morgan Stanley for Asia Pacific, on the sidelines of his participation in the World Economic Forum (WEF), Garafil said. Garafil said Laroia, during the meeting with Marcos, discussed Morgan Stanley's plan to have an office in Manila. "Mr. Laroia informed President Marcos that the top global investment bank will set up office in Manila," she said. Marcos is currently in Davos to present the current state of the Philippine economy and woo more investors. On Tuesday (Zurich time), Marcos also had a series of business meetings on the WEF sidelines, including a meeting with officials of mining and commodities training giant Glencore. Marcos and Glencore officials led by its CEO, Gary Nagle, discussed the Swiss multinational firm's intent to expand its business operations in the Philippines, Garafil said. "On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) organized sessions, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual met with Mr. Gary Nagle, Chief Executive Officer of Glencore, on Tuesday to discuss the company’s interest to expand mining and processing operations in the Philippines," she said. Garafil said Glencore, one of the largest and globally diversified natural resource companies in the world, sees the Philippines as a "potential partner to process nickel and copper resources responsibly and sustainably for use in electric vehicle batteries and energy storage units." Glencore is engaged in a wide range of commodity production, sourcing, processing, refining, transporting, storage, financing and supply. With 60 mining, metallurgical and oil production assets worldwide, Glencore is dedicated to responsibly sourcing the commodities that drive progress in everyday life. Marcos also received a "warm welcome" from WEF founder and chairperson Klaus Schwab on Tuesday, the Office of the President (OP) said in a Facebook post. Marcos' investment pitch for the Philippines also earned "a very positive response" from some of the world's top chief executive officers and investment experts attending WEF. Oath-taking Meantime, the PCO also shared several photos of the oath-taking of newly-appointed officials. Based on the photos, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin administered the oath of office to Roderico Bioco as acting National Food Authority (NFA) administrator and NFA Council member; Rita Riddle as acting member of the Government Service Insurance System's (GSIS) Board of Trustees; and Joan Padilla as an administrator of the Intramuros Administration. The appointment of Bioco and Padilla was first announced on Jan. 11 and 18, respectively.   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

Mining

Philippine Resources - January 19, 2023

Benguet asks DENR anew to allow small-scale mining ops

Photo: Benguet Vice Governor Ericson Felipe on Tuesday said they are appealing to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to streamline the permitting process for 'Minahang Bayan' that delays the declaration of an area for community mining. The declaration is a requirement before mining associations can be issued a mining contract. (PNA photo by Liza T. Agoot) The provincial government is hopeful that small-scale mining activities in the province would be allowed again pending the approval of Minahang Bayan applications. "Our constituents are living through mining, many relying on it for survival which makes it impossible to stop them from operating while the Minahang Bayan applications are pending and being processed," Vice Governor Ericson Felipe said in an interview on Tuesday. Felipe stressed the dilemma of the mining associations in obtaining a Minahang Bayan declaration, which he said is tedious and complicated. He added that the provincial government, in several resolutions, already requested the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to streamline the requirements that was identified as the reason for the delay in obtaining a Minahang Bayan declaration. Following the issuance of the declaration, a small-scale mining contract that will allow the association to afford the Minahang Bayan the authority to utilize the same to extract minerals is also required. In 2018, the DENR issued a cease and desist order (CDO) for all small-scale mining operations in Benguet and the whole of Cordillera following the massive landslide in a mining community in the town of Itogon that claimed the lives of about a hundred persons. "Our people engaged in small-scale mining are in a sad plight with their operation being simply tolerated because of the absence of legal status in operation and have to survive thru mining as a livelihood. We hope that the DENR will reconsider soon," he added. Felipe said aside from agriculture, small-scale mining is also a top source of income and job generator in Benguet.   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

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Industry

Philippine Resources - January 19, 2023

DFA to set parameters on future oil, gas negotiations

Photo credit: Department of Foreign Affairs Facebook Page The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday said it is in the process of setting the parameters which would guide future negotiations on oil and gas. In a message to reporters, the DFA disclosed that it is carefully studying the Supreme Court decision on the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking. Earlier, the Supreme Court declared a 2005 agreement which allowed China and Vietnam to perform a joint exploration with the Philippines for oil resources in areas under the country’s jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea as void and unconstitutional. “The Department’s actions and policy recommendations are, at all times, anchored on the Philippine Constitution and laws,” DFA Spokesperson Teresita Daza said. “Cases decided by the Supreme Court form part of the legal system, and the Department is duty-bound to take applicable cases into consideration in any future discussion with China on oil and gas,” she added. Daza noted that it was premature to discuss the case’s legal implications on any future agreement with China because substantive discussions have yet to commence. During President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s recent visit to Beijing, he has agreed with Chinese President Xi Jinping to resume joint oil and gas discussions in the West Philippine Sea at an early date “with a view to benefiting the two countries and their peoples”. In a joint statement, both countries agreed to "bear in mind the spirit" of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines which was signed in 2018.   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

Industry

Philippine Resources - January 19, 2023

Senator doubts WPS joint exploration with China will push through

Photo: Senator Sherwin Gatchalian Senator Sherwin Gatchalian emphasized on Friday that the possibility of a joint oil exploration between China and the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) would only materialize if the east Asian country recognizes the Philippine Constitution. "Our Constitution should be the enabling document, and that's our minimum standard and if China cannot follow that, then this is where the complexity will come in," Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said in an interview with ANC. Gatchalian's statement came after the Supreme Court on Tuesday declared as unconstitutional the 2005 agreement on joint exploration by the Philippines, China, and Vietnam of an area in the disputed South China Sea. Gatchalian explained that although the SC ruling upholds the country's right to be in charge of its territory, it would only bring more complexity to the situation as China would not also drop its territorial claims on WPS. "What our country and China want to do is to study all the complications and study how to move forward but then again, the Supreme Court decision sets the parameters on what they should be looking at, and it becomes the minimum requirement for any joint exploration moving forward," Gatchalian said. "I'm not so optimistic that we can move forward with this joint exploration. It's good that we are talking. It's good that we are open to it. But when you go to the nitty gritty of things, especially the governing law that should prevail. I think we will hit a snag with that issue, and I think that the best case here or the best evidence will be what was discussed during the last administration," he added. The administration of then President Rodrigo Duterte, he said, had been in talks with China about the exploration for four years and yet, no actual agreement has been reached. “Obviously, after four years, nothing happened and obviously, it's more complex than what they thought and obviously, there are a lot of things that they cannot agree on," the lawmaker said. One of the things that the two countries could not agree on, Gatchalian said, is which law should govern the joint exploration. During the recent state visit of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in China, he and Chinese President Xi Jinping both agreed to resume discussions on oil and gas development. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that both leaders had talked about the Memorandum of Understanding on Oil and Gas Development signed in 2018, assuring that the upcoming discussions would be “building upon the outcomes of the previous talks.”   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

Construction

Philippine Resources - January 11, 2023

Marcos vows to continue upgrade of PH transport system

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (center) presses the button to launch the Metro Manila Subway Project's tunnel boring machine in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City on Monday (Jan. 9, 2023). It marks the start of the construction of the tunnels for the PHP488-billion Metro Manila subway, which will span 33 kilometers across seven cities from Valenzuela City to Pasay City. (PNA photo by Alfred Frias) President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday reiterated his vow to continue upgrading the country’s transport system to relieve commuters of their daily ordeals due to traffic congestion. “We will continue to invest and improve our transportation system as well as pursue more projects in the years to come so that Filipinos can gain greater access to places of work, commerce, recreation, and other vital areas,” Marcos said in his speech during the launch of the Metro Manila Subway Project’s (MMSP) tunnel boring machine (TBM) at its depot in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City. “Having an effective and efficient transportation system will have multiplier effects on employment, the economy, our society, it will bring comfort, convenience, an easier life for all,” he added. Marcos said developments on the country’s first subway system allow Filipinos to look forward to “better days” as it would also spur economic development and job creation. He thanked both the public and private sectors for working to ensure the realization of what he described as an “ambitious” endeavor. In particular, he expressed gratitude to the Japanese government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for being active partners in the fulfillment of the Philippine infrastructure program. According to Marcos, the Philippines would not have fulfilled its many infrastructure projects without the assistance of JICA. “This tunnel boring machine highlights Japan’s expertise and technology and trailblazing contributions in the modern world and thus I am confident that they will help us shape our railway infrastructure and keep them at par with the highest international standards,” he said. He expressed hope the subway would be completed on time. “I hope that both of you and the DOTr (Department of Transportation) will not waver on your commitment to finish the contract package by the end of 2027 to ensure that Filipinos will get to enjoy the project at the soonest possible time,” he said. Marcos likewise sought the public's continued patience, trust and support as big-ticket projects take years to complete. “Let the launching of this tunnel boring machine become a testament to this administration’s commitment to continue to projects of the previous administration and more importantly build better more,” he added. He described the launch of the TBM as “a very apt beginning” for a year with renewed vigor and commitment to his administration’s mission to improve the lives of Filipinos. “We also gain inspiration from the selfless individuals who constantly strive to turn our vision for the transportation sector into a grand reality,” he said. The PHP488.48-billion Metro Manila subway will stretch for about 33 kilometers across seven cities, from Valenzuela City to the Food Terminal Inc. in Bicutan, Parañaque City, with a “spur line” to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City. It will be able to serve over 519,000 passengers daily once completed. The project is also expected to generate 18,000 jobs and boost the economic activities of communities in Metro Manila. ‘New dawn of PH transport’ Matsuda Kenichi, minister and deputy chief of mission of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, believes that a “new dawn” is now “on the horizon” following developments on the Metro Manila subway project. The idea was first proposed in 1973 under the then Urban Transport Study in the Manila Metropolitan Area. “The plan was first initiated during the time of the late President Marcos Sr. Decades later, it can be considered a legacy that is now in the hands of His Excellency President Marcos Jr. to fulfill,” Kenichi said. He congratulated Marcos and DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista for their dedicated efforts and leadership despite the coronavirus pandemic. Kenichi assured that the Japanese government will continue to work with the Philippines so that Filipinos can enjoy the benefits of a subway system. “Please let me assure you that we, the Government of Japan, will continue to cooperate in this flagship project in a full-speed ahead manner until such time that Filipinos can finally enjoy the convenience of a subway,” he added. ‘Point of no return’ Bautista said the beginning of tunnel boring activities marks a “point of no return” for the project. “We are going full speed ahead to complete the country’s first subway,” Bautista said. He noted that there is an “urgent need” for improved railway transportation in the country, particularly to serve passengers at NAIA. “During the recent holiday rush when I inspected NAIA Terminal 3, I discovered the urgent need of providing a railway station as one of the multi-modal land-based transport options for arriving passengers,” he said. He cited President Marcos’ support for the project and the efforts of the Duterte administration. “The launching of this tunnel boring machine become a testament to this administration's commitment, to continue the project of the previous administration, and more importantly, to build better more," he said. He thanked the Japanese government and JICA for helping fund the project through its official development assistance loans. The launch marks the start of construction for the MMSP’s Contract Package 101 (CP101), one of the project’s seven civil work contracts. CP101 involves the construction of three underground stations in Quezon City and an additional semi-underground station in the northernmost part of the Valenzuela City depot. In a press bulletin, the DOTr said a total of six TBMs would be used during the tunnel-boring phase of CP101, while stations will be completed using the “top-down” construction method. Around 1.2 million cubic meters of soil are expected to be dug by the TBMs for the partial operability section of CP101, equivalent to 500 Olympic-size swimming pools. “For the tunnels alone, the excavation will be around 711,000 cubic meters or an equivalent of 285 Olympic-size swimming pools,” it said. A total of 7,419,940 cubic meters of soil, equivalent to 2,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools, will be excavated for the entire alignment of the MMSP. Bridging the gap In a statement, Senator JV Ejercito said the Philippines is years behind its neighbors in terms of infrastructure development and transportation modernization but the subway project will soon reduce the gap.  He said improving the country’s transportation system, especially railways, will boost efforts to revive the economy after being battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. “With transportation, with railway systems, more than airports, movement of people, movement of goods will be easier. That will attract, of course, foreign investments. That will make doing business easy and more convenient,” said Ejercito, who also graced the event. “Transportation modernization and infrastructure development will cost a lot but the returns are enormous.” (with reports from Raymond Carl Dela Cruz, Leonel Abasola/PNA)

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Mining

Philippine Resources - January 09, 2023

MCB Project starts securing government approvals

Photo credit: Celsius Resources Makilala Mining Company, Inc. (MMCI), a subsidiary of Celsius Resources Limited, has received interim Certificates of Approval from the Regional Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) for two vital program documents: the Five-Year Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) and the Care and Maintenance Program (CMP) for the Maalinao-Caigutan-Biyog Copper-Gold Project (MCB). These documents are part of MMCI's application for the Declaration of a Mining Project Feasibility and the subsequent issuance of a Mineral Production and Sharing Agreement (MPSA). The interim nature of the Certificates of Approval indicates that MMCI is not yet required to act on its commitments under these programs until the MPSA has been issued. Under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, all mining permit holders are required to develop and implement an SDMP in consultation with and in partnership with host and neighboring communities. The goal of the SDMP is to create self-reliant, responsible, and resource-based communities that are capable of developing, implementing, and managing community development programs, projects, and activities in a manner consistent with sustainable development principles. The SDMP covers the following primary areas: Human resource development and institution building Enterprise development and networking Assistance to infrastructure development and support services Access to education and educational support programs Access to health services, health facilities, and health professionals Protection and respect of socio-cultural values The CMP is a prerequisite document that outlines MMCI's safety and health, social, and environmental commitments as integral components of the MCB project in the event of operational constraints (e.g., voluntary or involuntary stoppage). Celsius Executive Director and MMCI Country Operations Director, Peter Hume, commented on the approval of the SDMP and CMP: "This not only demonstrates the national government's strong commitment to the mining industry and the MCB project as a key economic driver post-pandemic, but also shows our determination to advance the project and create value for shareholders and stakeholders through purposeful and ethical projects. These programs will also provide us with opportunities to demonstrate our adherence to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards in partnership with the Balatoc community and local and national government units."

Mining

Philippine Resources - January 09, 2023

New agreement sees MCB Project move a step closer to development

Photo credit: Celsius Resources Makilala Mining Company, Inc. (MMCI) and PDEP, Inc., two wholly owned Philippine subsidiaries, have entered into a partnership with Sodor Inc. and PMR Holding Corp. to develop the MCB Project. The partnership will be formalized through the signing of a binding agreement. The two companies have also signed a Non-Binding Term Sheet outlining their common goal of obtaining a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) from the Philippine government. Under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, companies applying for the exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources under an MPSA must be at least 60% Filipino-owned. MMCI will hold the MPSA as a 60:40 joint venture, with 40% ownership by CLA and 60% by Sodor, Inc. MMCI will also be the owner and holder of the mining rights, interests, and licenses. Celsius Chairman and MMCI Chairman and President Atty. Julito R. Sarmiento expressed excitement about the partnership and the potential for the MCB Project. He said, "We are very pleased to have Sodor Inc. and PMR Holding Corp. as our local partners for the development of the MCB Project. Their combined investment, which is based on a proven track record of profitability, operational efficiency, and a commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles, will be invaluable in the success of the MCB Project and the revival of the Philippine mining industry."

Construction

Philippine Resources - January 09, 2023

PH infra program gets boost from bilateral deals with China

The infrastructure program of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. got a boost following the signing of six bilateral agreements and one project implementation between the Philippines and China on Wednesday. Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, who signed the agreements and completion documents on behalf of the Philippine government, said they welcome China’s support to the government’s "Build Better More" infrastructure agenda. “The signing of these agreements demonstrates the strong commitment between China and the Philippines to deepen bilateral cooperation through infrastructure development,” he said in a statement on Thursday. The signing event, held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, was witnessed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Chinese President Xi Jinping  as part of Marcos’ three-day state visit to the world’s second-largest economy. The Department of Finance (DOF), on Thursday, said four of the loan agreements have an aggregate amount of USD201.8 million (around PHP11.3 billion) and were co-signed by Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank) Chairman Wu Fulin. These agreements will fund the Priority Bridges Crossing Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway, it said. The latest financing from China brought to USD1.06 billion its total loan commitments for ongoing projects in the Philippines, it said. Relatively, DOF said the Framework Agreement for the implementation of the Priority Bridges Crossing Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway under Chinese Government Financing, which was co-signed by China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) Chairman Luo Zhaohui, is a precursor agreement that gives the Philippines access to the Renminbi (RMB)-denominated government concessional loan (GCL) facility portion of the loan. The Finance Department said Diokno and Luo also inked the agreement on economic and technical cooperation between the two governments, worth 1.5 billion renminbi (around PHP12.2 billion) for projects to be determined by both countries “based on the development plan and specific needs of the Philippine government.” Also, Diokno signed along with Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao the handover certificate for the Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge – both of which were financed by the Chinese government and were completed on April 13, 2022 and Sept. 17, 2021, respectively. “The two bridges, spanning Manila, Makati, and Mandaluyong, seek to improve the capacity and efficiency of the road transport network in Metro Manila,” the DOF said. 

Industry

Philippine Resources - January 09, 2023

PH, China agree to resume oil, gas talks at an 'early date'

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (File photo courtesy of Bongbong Marcos Facebook page) The Philippine and Chinese governments have agreed to resume talks on oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea at an "early date" following the bilateral summit between President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Jan. 4. In a joint statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Foreign Ministry said discussions would build upon the outcomes of the previous negotiations during the Duterte administration, "with a view of benefiting the two countries and their peoples." "On oil and gas cooperation, both sides agreed to bear in mind the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Philippines signed in 2018, and agreed to resume discussions on oil and gas development at an early date," the statement read. The two parties also agreed to explore cooperation in areas of solar power, wind energy, electric vehicles and nuclear energy for electricity generation, among others. Talks on a possible oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea were terminated during the time of former President Rodrigo Duterte over constitutional constraints. After repeated requests from China, both sides eventually held an "initial discussion" in July and August for the possible revival of negotiations. The public is assured that any agreement that would come out from the discussions would be "in accordance with the Philippine Constitution". The 1987 Constitution states that the exploration, development, and use of natural resources should be under the "full control and supervision" of the Philippine government. 'Not the sum total' Meanwhile, Marcos and Xi agreed to appropriately manage the South China Sea row through peaceful means as they emphasized that maritime issues "do not comprise the sum total of relations" between Manila and Beijing. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace and stability in the region and the freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea. The two leaders, the joint statement said, had also "reached consensus on the peaceful resolution of disputes" on the basis of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, the United Nations Charter and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  Stronger maritime cooperation between Manila and Beijing is also expected as both parties agreed to collaborate closely on the mitigation of marine debris and microplastics and towards the establishment of a partnership between coastal model cities of the two countries. During the summit, Marcos and Xi made a commitment to further strengthen the China-Philippines relationship of Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation under new circumstances, "as close neighbors, kin and partners that help and understand each other towards win-win results".   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

Construction

Philippine Resources - January 09, 2023

JICA backs second San Juanico Bridge project

The aerial view of the San Juanico Bridge that connects the islands of Leyte and Samar. The proposed second San Juanico Bridge has gained support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as one of the priority projects in the region, an official of the National Economic Development Authority said on Tuesday (Jan. 3, 2023). (Photo courtesy of Lyle Arañas) The proposed second San Juanico Bridge has gained support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as one of the priority projects in the region, an official of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) said on Tuesday. NEDA Eastern Visayas Regional Director Meylene Rosales said that during the visit of JICA team to the region last month, its key officials led by Senior Representative Kuronoma Kenji have expressed intention to provide technical and financial support to the project. “Although JICA has yet to commit to funding the construction of the proposed Second San Juanico Bridge, they are already involved in preparatory activities for the program, such as the conduct of the pre-feasibility study for the bridge, which found that construction will have a favorable impact to the region,” Rosales said in a statement. In 2022, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced that the national government will need PHP9.17 billion to build the second San Juanico Bridge connecting the islands of Leyte and Samar. The government is still looking for sources to finance the proposed bridge. The project was tagged as a priority after it passed the 10 percent economic internal rate of return set by NEDA. The proposed budget will primarily be used for the construction of the bridge superstructure, substructure, embankment, concrete girders, and relocation of power transmission lines, according to a study by DPWH and JICA. The proposed bridge will connect the towns of Babatngon, Leyte, and Sta. Rita, Samar. It will cross Janbatas Channel, a portion of the San Juanico Strait that separates the region’s two major islands. The proposed bridge will have a length of 1.24 kilometers that starts in Guintigui-an village in Babatngon, Leyte, and will end in San Pascual village in Sta. Rita, Samar. “It is very critical that we have an alternative to the San Juanico Bridge. You cannot travel by land from Luzon to Mindanao without passing through us. That’s why it is not only people that pass through the bridge, just as importantly, cargo also passes through,” Rosales added. In 2019, traffic volume on San Juanico Bridge is 7,200 vehicles daily, close to its 10,000 daily capacity. In 2030, the figure is expected to increase to 10,900 daily, more than its limit. The number is expected to reach 15,900 in 2040. Built in 1973, the existing 2.16-kilometer San Juanico Bridge has been encountering issues, such as aging and high maintenance costs.   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

Construction

Philippine Resources - December 30, 2022

DPWH TARGETS CENTRAL LUZON EXPRESSWAY 25-KM OPERATIONAL BY 1ST HALF OF 2023

Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways The expressway project in Central Luzon at the connection of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX)/Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) in Tarlac City, Tarlac is targetted by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to be operational up to San Juan, Aliaga, Nueva Ecija toward the first half of 2023. In his report to DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said that the DPWH Unified Project Management Office - Roads Management Cluster 1 (DPWH-UPMO RMC1) is currently working on the completion of additional seven (7) kilometer segment from Guimba-Aliaga Road intersection to San Juan Interchange that will extend to 25 kilometers the already accessible 18-kilometer section of the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX). The DPWH UPMO RMC 1 team with the contractors and consultants have worked hard to overcome challenges along the way, such as bad weather, right of way issues, difficulty in the transport of construction materials, and Covid-19 impact that caused some delays, added Senior Undersecretary Sadain. Other than the four (4)-lane two (2)-way expressway with design speed of 100 kilometers per hour, DPWH is also undertaking the construction of three (3) interchanges namely Zaragoza, Aliaga and San Juan that will allow motorists from the secondary and provincial roads to access CLLEX. When fully completed, this 30-kilometer CLLEX Project will facilitate fast, safe, comfortable and reliable means of transport in Central Luzon as it form an important east-west link for the expressway network of Region 3 to ensure a continuous seamless traffic flow for the motoring public from Metro Manila and vice versa passing thru NLEX, SCTEX/TPLEX. This project is part of the government’s vision of easing traffic congestion and will shorten the usual travel time of 70 minutes between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City to just 20 minutes. The project is one of the key infrastructures with funding assistance from the Government of Japan thru Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and is included in the Luzon Spine Expressway Network projects aimed at reducing travel time from the northernmost part of Luzon, Ilocos, to the southern most part, Bicol, by over 50 percent via the construction of high standard highway network. In his inspection on December 19, 2022 together with Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista, Senior Undersecretary Sadain has instructed the DPWH UPMO RMC 1 project supervision team of Project Engineers Manuel R. Monfort, Juancho Hernandez, and Albert Manuel and the contractors to put more resources in the project and accelerate their work. The DPWH-UPMO together with Nueva Ecjia First and Second District Engineering Offices are also continuously working on the processing of right of way claims. Delayed reimbursement or payment of affected property is due to difficulty of right of way claimants to comply with all the documentary requirements or problems on submitted papers establishing proof of ownership and others, most common of which are cancellations of encumbrance/s on the land titles and payment of corresponding estate taxes for the registered deceased landowners and the change of creditor’s name.

Construction

Philippine Resources - December 07, 2022

DPWH SPEEDS UP CONSTRUCTION OF LONG DISTANCE ROAD MOUNTAIN TUNNEL PROJECT IN DAVAO CITY

Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) maintains a keen focus in partially opening by 2024 the first 10.7-kilometer central portion of the 45.5-kilometer Davao City Bypass Construction Project by accelerating on-going excavation activities in the construction of twin tube road mountain tunnel. In an inspection on Thursday, December 1, 2022, DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain expressed optimism that excavation works for the 2.3-kilometer soon to be first-ever long-distance mountain tunnel in the Philippines will be completed by December 2023. The Davao City tunnel, with a north portal in Barangay Waan and south portal at the other end in Barangay Matina Biao, is a major component of the 10.7-kilometer contract package 1-1. DPWH Senior Undersecretary Sadain in his report to Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan said that the joint venture contractor Shimizu-Ulticon-Takenaka led by Project Director Akira Mito have so far excavated, sprayed concrete or “shotcrete”, and installed steel ribs support reinforcement and rockbolts on the tunnel distance of 332 meters on northbound and 247 meters on southbound for south portal while progress for north portal is at 292 meters on southbound and 232 meters on northbound directions. “We are fast-tracking the simultaneous construction of the road mountain tunnel in four (4) areas of its north and south portals”, added Senior Undersecretary Sadain. The tunnel construction works for the Davao City Bypass Construction Project started at north portal on November 19, 2021 for southbound direction, and on December 10, 2021 for the northbound direction. Meanwhile, excavation activities from opposite end at south portal commenced on May 12, 2022 for northbound direction and on June 9, 2022 for southbound direction. After the activities at north portal was temporarily halted by water seepage on the tunnel roof, the use of Japanese waterproofing technology and materials has helped the DPWH and its contractor addressed this problem. Other than the tunnel, contract package 1-1 involves the construction of four-lane road with a length of 7.9 kilometers; three (3) pairs of bridges with a total length of 500 meters including the Davao River Bridge; two (2) underpasses and two (2) overpasses; 12 waterways culverts; and four (4) at-grade intersection. This on-going contract package 1-1 costing ₱13.23 Billion is financed by Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan between Philippines and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under loan agreement numbers PH-P261 and PH-P273. The Davao City ByPass Road Construction Project is being implemented by DPWH Unified Project Management Office - Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) headed by Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista and under the on-site supervision and monitoring by Project Manager Joselito B. Reyes and Project Engr. Juan M. Diña Jr. with Nippon Koei – Katahira - Nippon Engineering - Philkoei as engineering consultants. Once completed, the entire bypass road will slash travel time between Toril, Davao City and the northern Panabo City, Davao Del Norte to under 49 minutes from the usual more or less two (2) hours via Maharlika Highway.   Article courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways

Industry

Philippine Resources - December 07, 2022

PH, JAPAN EXPERTS STRENGTHEN CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENCY IN THE PHILIPPINES

Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways Filipino and Japanese experts are working to better prepare the Philippines from threats of climate change by discussing strategies on how to mitigate the adverse effects of flooding. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), through its Unified Project Management Office – Flood Control Management Cluster (UPMO – FCMC) headed by Project Director Ramon A. Arriola III, partnered with Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism – Water and Disaster Management Bureau (MLIT – WDMB) in organizing a seminar titled “Seminar on Climate Change Perspectives in Managing Rivers and Floods”. Aside from MLIT and DPWH, also present during the seminar were representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Forest Management Bureau (DENR – FMB); DENR - National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (DENR – NAMRIA); Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST – PAGASA); Climate Change Commission (CCC); National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA); and National Irrigation Administration (NIA). DPWH Assistant Secretary Antonio V. Molano, Jr., in his opening remarks, urged the participants to reflect on how to capitalize the diversity of functions and mandates of their respective agencies to assess and improve current climate change adaptation strategies of the Philippines. The seminar at Bayview Park Hotel Manila served as a venue for participating Philippine agencies to further hone their existing knowledge in addressing climate change by learning from Japan’s experience and success in river and flood management as pointed out by the Embassy of Japan Minister Daisuke Nihei in his speech. According to Minister Nihei, Japan’s achievements in climate change management are visible and integrated into ongoing disaster prevention projects and initiatives with the Philippines which includes the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project Phase IV; Coastal Engineering Capacity Development for DPWH personnel; flood risk management projects in Cavite Industrial Area and Cagayan De Oro City; flood control master plan study in Davao City; and the feasibility study for the Parañaque Spillway Project. The MLIT also outlined the extract of the Kumamoto Initiative for Water which is a joint statement and declaration to address water challenges and transformation towards a quality-oriented society avowed by 18 heads of states from Asia and the Pacific during the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit (APWS) last April 2022. For its part, DPWH UPMO – FCMC presented its Flood Risk Management Master Plans while the DPWH Bureau of Design (DPWH – BOD) detailed its flood control planning design responsive to climate change. Other topics discussed at the seminar included the “Observed Climate Trends and Projected Climate Change in the Philippines” by DOST – PAGASA; “Sea Level Rise: Is It Climate Change of Land Subsidence?” by DENR – NAMRIA; “Climate Change Programs and Policies in the Philippines” by CCC; and “National Greening Program Towards Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation” by DENR – FMB.   Article courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways

Construction

Philippine Resources - December 07, 2022

DPWH KICKS-OFF JICA-FUNDED MINDANAO ROAD NETWORK PROJECT

Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is now working on projects that will address the deficit of road network in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Simultaneous to DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain’s participation at the 12th Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) Meeting of the National Government and Bangsamoro Government in Davao City, the DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) held a kick-off meeting in Cotabato City with the key project stakeholders to formally introduced the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded Road Network Development Project in Conflict Affected Areas in Mindanao (RNDP-CAAM). In his report to Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Senior Undersecretary Sadain said that the kick off meeting organized by UPMO RMC1 Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista and Project Manager Francisco M. Sawali was an opportunity to define the important roles that the various stakeholders especially the local government units (LGUs) will play in the project implementation. The stakeholder consultation held December 1, 2022 provided an overview of the project for government agencies and LGUs, introduce key personnel and project team members, and enjoin their cooperation. Project Director Bautista, Project Manager Sawali, and the consultants of consulting services firm CTI Engineering International Co. Ltd and Oriental Consultants Global Co. Ltd explained to the stakeholders the background of four (4) road sub-projects under RNDP-CAAM with a total length of 77 kilometers. The kick-off meeting has provided local leaders and other stakeholders of an update of the detailed engineering works on the 35.30-kilometer Parang-Balabagan Road, 19.80-kilometer Marawi City Ring Road, 7-kilometer Parang East Diversion Road, and the 16.80-kilometer Manuangan-Parang Road. This kick-off activity is crucial to level off key stakeholders’ expectation, gain the cooperation for the smooth implementation, properly plot timelines, and know the necessary coordination and other logistical requirements that must be considered moving forward, added Senior Undersecretary Sadain. The stark contrast of Mindanao’s growth potential and the status as one of the poorest is in dire need of infrastructure development intervention. RNDP-CAAM will complement the progress of the peace and unity process by way of addressing the shortage of infrastructure in the Bangsamoro Region. The project is in line with the trust of the government to encourage economic development, reduce poverty and contribute in the government effort to peace development in the conflict-affected area in Mindanao.   Article courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways

Mining

Philippine Resources - December 02, 2022

RECENT DRILLING AT MANILA MINING NTINA DEEPS INTERSECTS HIGHGRADE GOLD-COPPER PORPHYRY TYPE MINERALIZATION

Photo credit: Bilyonaryo  Mr. Felipe U. Yap, Chairman and CEO of Manila Mining Corporation (“MMC”), is pleased to announce the exciting and economically significant gold and copper exploration drilling results from four well-controlled, deep diamond core holes completed below MMC’s historical Ntina open pit gold mine. The drilling programme has been designed to (i) refine the shape and dimensions of the previously intercepted copper-gold mineralized zones; (ii improve the understanding of mineralization controls, and (iii) allow the formulation of an efficiently targeted, definitive resource definition drilling programme. The completed four drill holes have an aggregate depth of 6,061.7 meters and identified a large, highly gold-copper mineralized porphyry system that has been named Ntina Deeps. Drilling of the fifth and sixth holes is ongoing. As the inevitable global copper demand-supply gap widens exponentially in the coming decades, the Philippines is perfectly positioned to become a major world copper producer. The Philippines has several large deposits that can be brought online within five years and a very long pipeline for new mines within the next 20 years. Deposits such as the Ntina Deeps have high gold credits and there exists the potential for low capex and selective underground mining methods. The timing for MMC to explore and develop gold-copper porphyries within its Placer tenements could not be better.   Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange

Industry

Philippine Resources - December 02, 2022

PBBM wants WPS oil exploration fast-tracked

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday expressed readiness to partner with China for possible joint oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). In a media interview in Quezon City, Marcos broached the idea of exploring other ways to ensure the immediate development of oil and gas resources in the contested waters. Marcos made the remark, in case the possible government-to-government partnership fails to proceed. "We'll have to find a way kasi kailangan na natin eh (we really need it now). We already need, kung mahanap dyan kailangan na talaga ng Pilipinas (whatever resources we could find because the Philippines really need that now)," he said on the sidelines of the Kadiwa ng Pasko Caravan. "'Yung China maliit na bagay sa kanila 'yun eh. Sa atin malaking bagay 'yan. So, kailangan natin ipaglaban at mapakinabangan kung meron ngang oil talaga (It's a small thing for China. But for us, it's a big help. So, we have to pursue that and we will benefit if there is really oil there)," he added. Marcos also stressed the importance of addressing the "roadblock" in the joint exploration talks. This, as he acknowledged the constitutional problems that caused delays in the possible joint exploration between the Philippines and China. "Kasi kini-claim ng China kanila 'yun, eh atin naman talaga iyan. So, sinasabi ng Pilipinas, basta't 'yung batas kailangan masundan 'yung sa Pinas. Ang sinasabi naman ng Chinese, hindi, amin iyan eh, kaya't kailangan masundan is Chinese. Kaya 'yun talaga ang roadblock doon (China is claiming [WPS] as its property, but that is ours. For the Philippines' part, we have to follow the law. But the Chinese are saying that they own that and they want their own terms to be followed. That's the roadblock there)," Marcos said. In November 2018, the Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China on joint oil and gas development in WPS. However, the Philippines, under the Duterte administration, terminated the talks before Marcos assumed presidency on June 30 because of constitutional constraints and issues on the country’s sovereignty. The Department of Foreign Affairs in September this year said the two countries have so far made "initial and general discussions" on possible joint exploration in WPS but have not yet progressed to "working-level talks." During their inaugural bilateral meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on Nov. 17, Marcos and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed that the immediate conclusion of negotiations for the final and binding Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea (SCS) will help address the maritime disputes among littoral states. On July 12, 2016, the Philippines won its petition against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands after the court invalidated Beijing’s supposedly historic rights over nearly the entire SCS, including the WPS. China has repeatedly ignored the 2016 PCA ruling despite the Philippines’ historic win. By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

Industry

Philippine Resources - December 02, 2022

PH keen to partner with other countries for nuclear power dev’t

Photo: Philippine Nuclear Research Institute Director Carlo Arcilla. Credit: Philippine News Agency The Philippines is open to nuclear energy negotiations with other countries aside from the United States, an official of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) said Tuesday. Currently, the country is in discussion with the US for the 123 Agreement, an agreement for cooperation as a prerequisite for nuclear deals. "Before they (US) could export their nuclear expertise and technology, they have to seek clearance from the government. So this agreement is crucial since American companies could not export nuclear technologies and experts without this agreement," PNRI Director Carlo Arcilla said during the Laging Handa public briefing. He cited that the US is the most experienced in nuclear energy since they have 92 working nuclear power plants, the highest number in the world. These plants supply 20 percent of their power, according to Arcilla. While he considers the US as the most experienced, Arcilla clarified that other countries are also experts and have interest to partner with the Philippines. Among them is South Korea, which offered to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP). Arcilla said the decision will be up to the President, and also noted that the deal will not require a 123 Agreement. Other countries he mentioned for possible nuclear negotiations are France, China and Japan. "(The 123 Agreement) does not lock us into the American negotiations only. We are also open to other countries. We should not set aside, however, America's experience. There are 450 nuclear power plants in the world, and almost 100 are in the US," he said. Arcilla said it is also important that the government has a national position and policy on nuclear energy. Early this year, former President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order No. 164, which include nuclear power in the country’s energy mix. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. also pushed for the development of the country’s indigenous energy resources for energy security, improve access to power and promote clean energy.  Meanwhile, Arcilla said the decision to revive the BNPP or to establish a new one would depend on the President and the Department of Energy. "If we consider the technical aspect, (the BNPP) could still function, and South Korea has an offer, and they have a working model," he said. (With reports from Kris Crismundo/PNA) By Ma. Cristina Arayata.   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

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Mining

Philippine Resources - November 27, 2022

FNI posts higher nine-month net income of P2.13 billion

Photo credit: Global Ferronickel Holdings Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. (FNI), a diversified Filipino company with interests in ferronickel ore mining and processing, logistics and port operations, and cement and steel production, recorded a net income of P2.13 billion in the nine-month period that ended September compared to the P1.86 billion it posted during the same period last year. The results are driven by the Group’s flagship mining project in Surigao del Norte operated by Platinum Group Metals Corporation (PGMC). FNI's revenues on the sale of medium-grade nickel increased on the back of favorable forex rates and higher average realized price, while shipment volumes reel from inclement weather and a lower price for low-grade ore. The sale of nickel ore for the nine-month ended September 30, 2022 slides to 3.150 million wet metric tons (WMT), lower by 1.078 million WMT or 25.5%, compared to 4.228 million WMT of nickel ore in the same period last year. The Group only completed 58 nickel ore shipments against 78 shipments during the same period last year due to erratic weather conditions registering 161 rainy days to 137 last year. The resulting sales mix was 78% low-grade ore and 22% medium-grade ore in 2022 versus the previous period’s blend of 81% low-grade ore and 19% medium-grade ore. Shipments consisted of 2.450 million WMT low-grade nickel ore and 0.700 million WMT medium-grade nickel ore compared to 3.424 million WMT low-grade nickel ore and 0.804 WMT medium-grade nickel ore in the same period in 2021. The average realized nickel ore price for the period ended September 30, 2022 is USD28.89/WMT lower by USD1.89/WMT or 6.1% compared to last year’s USD30.78/WMT. Low-grade ore is USD25.49/WMT lower by USD4.30/WMT or 14.4% against last year’s USD29.79/WMT. On the other hand, medium-grade ore stands at USD40.79/WMT higher by USD5.80/WMT or 16.6% versus last year’s USD34.99/WMT. The average realized Peso over USD exchange rate for the Group’s export revenues is P54.87 compared to P49.22 in the same period last year, higher by P5.65 or 11.5%. “Overall outlook for FNI looks reassuring. With the opening of our Palawan mineral project, we expect healthier returns for our stakeholders. Although weather conditions have not been permissive, we have continued to improve our operations and pursue our expansion plans,” said FNI President Dante R. Bravo. FNI recently disclosed its 20% stake in China's Guangdong Century Tsingshan Nickel Industry Co. Ltd (GCTN) to enhance synergies between FNI with its nickel ore mines and GCTN as an ore processor and provide a steady value-adding enterprise for the Group. As a testament to its growth and core policy to strengthen systems and processes, PGMC has received ISO certifications for its Quality Management System (ISO 9001:2015), Occupational Health and Safety Management System (ISO 45001:2018), and Environmental Management System (ISO 14001:2015) as an Integrated Management System (IMS). The certification applies to all activities in the mining operations of nickeliferous laterite ore and other associated minerals from planning to ore production, hauling, loading and port operations.

Mining

Philippine Resources - November 27, 2022

DMCI Mining nets P1.2 billion in 9M

Photo Credit: dmcihouse.net DMCI Mining Corporation saw its net income decline by 17 percent from P1.41 billion to P1.17 billion during the first nine months of the year owing to lower nickel ore shipments and average nickel grade sold. “We expected a severe profit decline because of the depletion of our Berong mine late last year. Fortunately, the bullish nickel market allowed us to ship even the low-grade inventory of Berong,” said DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das C. Reyes. “Strong nickel prices and local currency weakness also moderated the impact of lower shipments on our bottom line,” he added. For the third quarter alone, net income tumbled by 56 percent from P181 million to P80 million due to the combined effect of lower shipment (-50%), flattish nickel grade sold (-1%), higher selling prices (+31%) and favorable average foreign exchange rates (+10%). Total shipments declined at a slower pace from January to September as the Berong mine did better than expected in the first half. Consequently, nickel ore shipments only fell by 25 percent from 1.45 million wet metric tons (WMT) to 1.09 million WMT. Despite a 4-percent decrease in average nickel grade sold from 1.38% to 1.33%, DMCI Mining posted a 16- percent improvement in nine-month average selling price from US$43 to US$50. Magnifying the impact of higher selling prices was a 10-percent increase in foreign exchange rates from US$ 1:Php 49 to US$ 1:Php 53. At the end of September, total inventory plummeted by 76 percent from 450,000 WMT to 109,000 WMT, mostly (81%) coming from Zambales.   Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange

Mining

Philippine Resources - November 27, 2022

E-vehicle boom opens new opportunities for PH mining

Developing the electric vehicle (EV) industry is opening new opportunities for the Philippine mining sector, a company executive said Wednesday.  In a media roundtable, DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das Reyes said the e-vehicle sector has provided new opportunities for the mining industry and his company is keen to take part in this development. He described that mining became a "sunset business" before the growth of the e-vehicle industry. "Prior to the EV boom, stainless steel was going nuts, and they don't have capacity already for the stainless steel market. And China is the only growth for stainless steel, all other countries in the world (are) slowing down," Reyes said. He said the growing demand for e-vehicles globally has offered a "fresh light" for the mining business. Nickel is a component for e-vehicle batteries. "Without EVs (e-vehicles), we would (have) ended so many other niche market(s). So it was a huge impact," Reyes added. In the recent foreign business missions of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the United States, South Korea and Japan, companies from these countries expressed their interest in the Philippine e-vehicle industry, including manufacturing batteries for electric cars. Part of the DTI's Make It Happen in the Philippines campaign is to attract investments for integrated mineral processing to have value-added activities in the mining industry instead of exporting minerals as raw materials. Reyes said DMCI Mining is in talks with possible foreign partners to explore opportunities for integrated mineral processing here, including Indonesian and Chinese partners, but this will require adequate infrastructure in place and support from the government. Meanwhile, DMCI Mining net income in January to September this year declined by 17 percent to PHP1.17 billion from PHP1.41 billion in the same period last year. The lower profit for the first nine months of 2022 was mainly due to decline in shipment. "Strong nickel prices and local currency weakness also moderated the impact of lower shipments on our bottom line," Reyes said.    Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

Mining

Philippine Resources - November 27, 2022

Surigao Norte mining firms bag nat'l environment awards

Two Surigao del Norte-based affiliates of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) have been awardees of the prestigious Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) for this year. In a statement Tuesday, NAC said Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HMC) in Taganaan town and Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) in Claver town received the PMIEA at the 68th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference (MSEC) in Baguio City over the weekend. Awarded in the name of the country's chief executive, the PMIEA is considered as the pinnacle of all industry awards in the field of environment and safety. “At NAC, we align profit with purpose amidst the challenges of climate change and these honors only demonstrate that caring for the environment goes hand in hand with good business performance,” said Jose Bayani Baylon, NAC chief sustainability officer and senior vice president for public affairs and communications. TMC also won this year’s Best Mining Forest Award and the Most Improved Safety Performance under the Safest Mines Award. Artemio Valeroso, TMC resident mine manager, said the company has persevered and worked hard to clinch the presidential award. Meanwhile, Francis Arañes, HMC resident mine manager, said the award will continue to remind the company to remain steadfast and focus on the goals of good business and responsible mining. Two more NAC subsidiaries, the Cagdianao Mining Corp. (CMC) and Rio Tuba Nickel (RTN), also received recognitions. CMC, which operates in Dinagat Islands, bagged the Platinum Achievement Awardee for Surface Mining Operation Category, while the RTN, which operates in Palawan, was named Platinum Awardee for its nickel operations and Titanium Awardee for its limestone project. NAC also reported gaining more than PHP21 billion in gross revenues and PHP6.9 billion in attributable net income from January to September this year. The MSEC is an annual event led by the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, and the Philippine Society of Mining Engineers.   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

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Mining

Philippine Resources - November 27, 2022

Marcos to DENR: Make mining firms comply with safety policies

Photo: President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. meets with Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials at Malacañan Palace on Tuesday (Nov. 22, 2022). Marcos directed the department to require small and large-scale mining firms to comply with policies that ensure safe working conditions for miners. (Photo courtesy of Malacañang) President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to require small and large-scale mining firms to comply with policies that ensure safe working conditions for mining workers. In a meeting with DENR officials at Malacañan Palace on Tuesday, Marcos lamented the failure of mining firms, particularly those involved in illegal activities, to provide adequate safety measures inside the mines. "Ang kawawa diyan ‘yung mga miners. They have no safety. Ang daming namamatay (The miners are victims here. They have no safety. A lot of them die)," he said. Marcos said there is a need to enhance social protection and security for workers in the mining industry. "We might be able to access financing, they might be able to access social protection," he added. He also urged the DENR to address bottlenecks to regulate the small-scale mining industry. “Gusto natin ma-legalize ang mga small-scale mining firms kasi marami sa kanila illegal, kaya walang protection ang mga minero (We want to legalize the small-scale mining firms because many of them are illegal, so the miners have no protection),” Marcos said. “Gusto nating palakasin ang regulatory framework para maka-operate sila ng legal, upang mabigyan ang ating minero ng assistance at protection para sa ligtas nilang pagtatrabaho (We want to strengthen the regulatory framework so they can operate legally, to give our miners assistance and protection for their safe work),” he added. Reducing carbon emissions Meanwhile, Marcos also underscored the need for the seafaring industry to create habits to help with carbon emission reduction. He raised the need to “upskill and reskill” the seafaring workforce to address the scheduled shift of ocean-going vessels to green hydrogen as a fuel source from 2030 to 2040. He said seafarers would need “additional training” to be able to handle alternative fuels to meet global decarbonization objectives. During the recently-concluded 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Egypt, leading organizations across the shipping value chain and producers of green hydrogen signed a joint statement committing to the rapid production and use of low-carbon fuels based on green hydrogen to accelerate decarbonization of global shipping. The shipping sector currently accounts for 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions but is expected to grow to 50 percent by 2050 without intervention. Marcos has repeatedly pushed for the development of renewable energy sources to address the problem of high power costs in the country. In his attendance at the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Bangkok last week, he said the Philippines is currently focused on using renewable energy sources such as hydropower, geothermal power, solar and other low-emission energy sources. He said his administration is particularly setting a target of a 35 percent share of renewable energy in the power generation mix by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040. Marcos earlier called for the amendment of the Republic Act (RA) 7076 or the People's Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991 to incentivize small-scale mining and provide social assistance and labor protection for all small-scale miners. Under the law, small-scale mining refers to a mining activity that relies heavily on manual labor using simple implementations and methods. RA 7076 also pertains to small-scale mining as an activity that "does not use explosives or heavy mining equipment." The DENR expressed commitment to review mining laws, including small-scale mining, to ensure that standards are updated and that the provision of the implementing rules and regulations takes full advantage of remote sensing and innovation in artificial intelligence. Mining accounts for less than 1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), although the Marcos administration is eyeing the industry to be one of the major contributors to the country’s economic development. It has been estimated that 70 to 80 percent of small-scale miners in the Philippines operate illegally. 

Mining

Philippine Resources - November 27, 2022

Vice President Harris Launches USTDA Critical Minerals Processing Project in the Philippines

Photo credit: The US Trade and Development Agency During her recent travel to Manila, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris launched a U.S. Trade and Development Agency grant to Eramen Minerals, Inc. (EMI), a Filipino mining company, for a feasibility study to advance the development of an environmentally sustainable nickel processing facility in the Philippines. This project will advance the clean energy transition by producing critical minerals that are key elements in the supply chain for batteries and energy storage systems. “This partnership is important to the shared clean energy and national security goals of the Philippines and the United States,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director. “Through this grant, we are supporting high-quality technical and environmental standards for mineral processing in the Philippines, while also creating valuable commercial opportunities for U.S. companies.” USTDA’s study will evaluate the technical and economic viability of developing a nickel processing facility at the site of EMI’s mine in Zambales Province. The plant is expected to use EMI’s nickel ore to produce refined nickel and cobalt products for sale as battery precursor materials. The study will help define the technical specifications for the facility and promote alignment with high environmental, social, and governance standards. “EMI seeks to contribute to the green energy transition and energy security through the supply of critical materials from our nickel mining operations for energy storage systems. The company likewise supports the encouragement of the Philippine government for mineral value-adding. The USTDA grant contributes to the accomplishment of such objectives through the determination of the optimal process for our ore to produce battery-grade precursor materials,” said Enrique C. Fernandez, EMI President/CEO. This project advances the goals of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, through the development of clean energy supply chains including the responsible mining of metals and critical minerals.   Article courtesy of The US Trade and Development Agency

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