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
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
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.
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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
Marcelle P. Villegas - November 24, 2022
Energy Transition for Oil, Gas and Coal Sectors
Most industries are dependent on fossil fuels to operate. However, in response to climate change, there is a global trend that encourages countries to join in the energy transition of using green technologies. While in theory, this strategy looks promising and feasible. However, in some countries, like in the Philippines, this is a major challenge. This was the scope of the roundtable discussion (RTD) last 4th of May 2022 during PH-EITI Conference with the Department of Finance and Department of Energy. The theme of the event was "Preparing the Extractives for Energy Transition".
Philippine Resources - November 15, 2022
Celsius obtains Social License to operate for the MCB Project
Photo credit: Celsius Resources Limited Celsius Resources Limited is pleased to announce that one of its Philippine subsidiaries, Makilala Mining Company, Inc. (“MMCI”) has obtained the consent of the Balatoc Indigenous Cultural Community (ICC) for the development of the Company’s MaalinaoCaigutan-Biyog (MCB) Copper-Gold Project (“MCB” or “the Project”). After a series of consultations and negotiations, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between MMCI, the Balatoc ICC, and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) was officially signed on 14 November 2022. The MOA represents the collective decision of the Balatoc ICC for MMCI to carry out exploration, development, production, and operation activities at the MCB Project area. It also outlines the commitments and obligations of all parties to the agreement as well as the economic, social, environmental, and cultural benefits of the Project to the Balatoc ICC during the life of the mine. Pasil Municipal Mayor Alfredo B. Malannag, Jr. was elated with the outcome and expressed: “This is a historical moment as it reflects the aspirations of the community for the future of the Balatoc Tribe. With MMCI at the forefront of development, our dreams of harnessing our natural resources without sacrificing our future and the environment will soon be realised. We have partnered with MMCI since their first exploration in the area in 2006 and the community has established a very good relationship with them.” Kalinga Provincial Governor James S. Edduba shared the same sentiment: “This is a happy occasion, and I am excited with the many possibilities that will happen to this community with the signing of the MOA. Growing up in the place, I can personally attest to life with and without a mining company. I was the Mayor of Pasil when Makilala Mining started their exploration. We have gone a long way and MMCI has been instrumental in the development of the community. I believe that this partnership will help develop the community further as this is such a big investment in terms of business and employment opportunities, overall progress and other benefits.” The Company considers obtaining the consent of the Balatoc ICC to be a crucial aspect for the development of the MCB Project, as it represents a social license to operate which is anchored on legitimacy, credibility, and trust. MMCI President Atty. Julito R. Sarmiento expressed: “The signing of the agreement signifies the commitment of the Company to do right by the Balatoc ICC. We have always ensured that we abide and respect the customary laws and traditions of the community in all aspects of our engagements, to demonstrate our strict adherence to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles and best practices consistent with our firm commitment to Transformative Mining.” Article courtesy of Celsius Resources
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Philippine Resources - November 15, 2022
Apex Mining’s 3Q2022 RESULTS UP 277% YoY
Photo credit: Apex Mining Apex Mining Co., Inc. is enjoying the fruits of its continuous expansion program with both the 3Q2022 and 9mo2022 results at an all-time high. Production for the 3Q2022 stood at 26,962 oz for gold and 100,899 oz for silver. The volume was 35% and 15% higher, respectively, than previous year’s production. The Maco mine milled 209,585 tonnes, 14% higher YoY with daily mill throughput of 2,334 tpd with mill grades of 4.02 gpt for gold and 18.72 gpt for silver. In the 3 rd quarter, the foreign exchange rate averaged P56.62 vs P50.30 from 3Q2021 or an increase of 13%. The resulting gross revenues for the third quarter was P2.743 billion, an increase of 43.8% YoY. Consolidated net income for 3Q2022 amounted to P897.95 million vs net loss of P624.35 million for 3Q2021, a 244% increase YoY. During the 3Q2021, the Company recognized P1.1 Billion provision for impairment of property and equipment and deferred exploration costs of non-operational local and foreign subsidiaries of Monte Oro Resources & Energy, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Apex. For the 9mo2022, total production was 73,219 oz gold and 291,333 oz silver or an increase of 36% and 12% respectively. Realized prices were $1,817/oz for gold and $21.62/oz for silver, a change of +2% and -13% respectively. Milling throughput for the Maco Mine Site was 601,730 tonnes or 2, 299 tpd for the 9mo2022, as compared to 514,008 tonnes or 2,017 tpd for the same period in 2021. The weighted average foreign exchange rate during the comparative period was P53.85 and P49.03 to one USD, a gap of 10%. The resulting gross revenues for the three quarters of 2022 was higher at P7.51 billion compared to the same period in 2021 at P4.99 billion. The net income (loss) for the three quarters of 2022 and 2021 was P2.46 billion and (P135.73) million. Net income grew 1,913% YoY. Disaster relief is among the cornerstones of Apex Mining’s corporate citizenship initiatives. As the third quarter was drawing to a close in September, typhoon Karding battered Luzon. In tandem with the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA), though Pusong Minero, Apex Mining’s president and CEO, Luis R. Sarmiento, ASEAN Eng., who is also the president of PMSEA, condoled with the families of the five Bulacan PDRRMO rescuers who perished while conducting rescue activities during the said tropical depression. At the Luksang Parangal of the Bulacan Provincial Advisory Group for Police Transformation and Development, the families of the late rescuers received cash assistance. Earlier, in August, the four classrooms built by the GMA Kapuso Foundation, in part through a P2M donation by the company, was turned over to the students and teachers of the Baybay Elementary School in the island of Siargao (Siargao, including Baybay Elementary School, was badly hit by typhoon Odette in December 2021). Apex Mining found itself displaying its unique brand of malaskit yet again as the final quarter of 2022 opened with typhoon Paeng wreaking havoc in regions 5, 6, 8, 12 and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Still under the Pusong Minero program of the PMSEA, the company, together with concerned local governments, immediately deployed much needed supplies like drinking water, sleeping mats and sacks of rice to select areas badly hit by Paeng. The distribution of sleeping mats is a joint effort with the province of Davao de Oro, where Apex Mining’s Maco Mine is located. Article courtesy of Apex Mining
Philippine Resources - November 15, 2022
ENGINEERING DESIGN OF PANAY-GUIMARAS-NEGROS ISLAND BRIDGES PROJECT TO START EARLY 2023
Photo credit: The Department of Public Works and Highways The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is targeting to commence by first quarter of 2023 the detailed engineering design (DED) activities of a long-time dream project for the people of Western Visayas. In his report to DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said that the Department of Finance (DOF) has issued on October 24, 2022 evidence of authority for the engineering services of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges for the loan agreement to be in effect. To date, the procurement of consulting services for the DED and tender assistance is on-going and submission and receipt of bidding documents is scheduled this December 2022. The 32.47-kilometer Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project, composed of two (2)-sea-crossing bridges connecting Panay Island, Guimaras Island and Negros Island in Region 6, is a large and complex project that requires comprehensive and high-standard engineering works to be serviced by consultants who have extensive experience in long-span bridges, which will help DPWH prepare for the construction in an efficient and timely manner. According to Senior Undersecretary Sadain, the scope of engineering services are preliminary design covering review of the feasibility study and preliminary and basic design; detailed engineering design including estimation of detailed construction cost; and procurement assistance. Senior Undersecretary Sadain together with Pulupandan, Negros Occidental Mayor Miguel Antonio C. Peña and the five (5) DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Project Directors namely Benjamin A. Bautista, Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim, Ramon A. Arriola III, Rodrigo I. Delos Reyes, and Soledad R. Florencio conducted an on-ground assessment on November 10, 2022 of the proposed location of road approach at the Negros Island side. The Infrastructure Development Committee of the Regional Development Council (RDC) 6 approved the Guimaras-Negros linkage or Section B of the project for endorsement to RDC 6 during the 3rd Quarter Reorganizational Meeting held September 14, 2022. The project was fully endorsed and approved by the committee during the RDC 6 Full Council Third Quarter Meeting held on October 13, 2022. The linkage between Guimaras-Negros will comprise a sea-crossing bridge with an approximate length of 13.11 kilometers, road approaches with an approximate total length of 5.49 kilometers and road connectors 0.87 kilometers with a total length of 19.47 kilometers. On the otherhand, the linkage between Panay-Guimaras or Section A will comprise a sea-crossing bridge with an approximate length of 4.97 kilometers and road approach with an approximate total length of 8.03 kilometers with a total length of 13.00 kilometers. “We still have a long way to go, but the wait will be worth it as we have the opportunity to make this dream come true”, added Senior Undersecretary Sadain. Early this year, the Government of the Philippines has obtained $56.6 Million in loans from the Government of the Republic of Korea for the engineering services of PGN Island Bridges. A ceremonial exchange of signed loan agreement for engineering services of PGN Island Bridges was held last May 2022 between the DOF and Export Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM). In line with the loan guidelines, the KEXIM-Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) has issued last September a notice of concurrence on the shortlist of consultants for the DED. Once the interlink bridges are constructed, travel time of commuters and motorist and transport of goods from Panay to Negros Islands through ferries/RORO will be shortened from 3-4 hours to just less than 1 hour. Article courtesy of The Department of Public Works and Highways
Philippine Resources - November 11, 2022
DENR to strengthen mining sector for PH economic growth
Photo credit: DENR The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it shall boost the potential of the mining sector to support the country’s economic growth and development under the Marcos administration. In the 48th Philippine Business Conference and Expo hosted by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry held on October 19 in Manila, DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Atty. Jonas R. Leones, in a speech delivered on behalf of Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, bared the Department’s plans for the mining industry. Leones said the DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has initially identified approximately 9 (nine) million hectares as potential mineral areas, although he said “it will not just be a business-as-usual scenario as it was in the pre-moratorium times but rather, it will be better business.” He highlighted that out of the nine million hectares of potential mineral areas, only less than 3% are awarded as mining contracts. “Since we are among the most highly mineralized country in the world, our priority is to build both a strategic and responsible industry,” Leones pointed out. “The MGB will vigorously promote the development of mineral processing and value-adding enterprises while at the same time intensifying the enforcement of environmental safeguards and targeting social development components in mining operations to address vulnerabilities.” He said the DENR will be reviewing mining laws, including small scale mining, to ensure that standards are updated and that the provision of the implementing rules and regulations take full advantage of remote sensing and innovation in artificial intelligence. Under the Mineral Investment Promotion Program, Leones said the DENR will address illegal mining, particularly small scale mining operations through the assessment and declaration of the “Minahang Bayan” areas where small-scale mining will be confined and regulated. He said the DENR will also undertake geological survey and mapping to populate the geoscientific and mineral information database, as well as rehabilitation and remediation of the remaining 11 abandoned mines to address the persistent misinformation that has stigmatized the mining industry. Leones said the other policy directions in the mining sector include the design of mineral extraction models with minimal environmental footprints; identification of new mineral reserves and the use of technological support for decision making; bidding out of national government mining assets such as those under the Philippine Mining Development Corporation; development and expansion of roads, power and other infrastructure support to mineralized areas through the Department of Public Works and Highways; construction of modular mineral processing plants such as those for steel and nickel; conduct of studies of mine rehabilitation; reuse of mining waste and tailings and acid mine grain management; and integration of small scale mining sector into the industry. He said the agency will also ensure that mining firms will strictly implement their respective Safety and Health program, Environmental Protection and Enhancement program, Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Plan, and Social Development Management. “We plan to adopt a strong system base on the established mitigation hierarchy of avoidance, mitigation, rehabilitation and compensatory actions,” he added. Leones said that the Department intends to pursue its strategic plans and programs by strengthening partnership with the different government offices, civil society organizations and advocates, industries, and the academe to develop acceptable, science-based and risk-informed strategies to conserve and protect the environment and natural resources. Article courtesy of the DENR
Philippine Resources - November 11, 2022
NICKEL ASIA CORPORATION ANNOUNCES P6.9 BILLION NET INCOME FOR 9M 2022
Nickel Asia Corporation recently announced its unaudited financial and operating results for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2022, with an attributable net income (net of minority interest) of P6.90 billion, up 12 percent from the P6.17 billion reported during the same period last year. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to P11.10 billion against P11.01 billion in the prior year. Despite the lower ore sales volume sold during the period, revenues rose by 2 percent to P21.51 billion from P21.03 billion last year, owed largely to higher nickel ore prices and favorable exchange rates. The Company’s five operating mines sold a combined 12.44 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore during the first nine months of the year, a decrease of 14 percent from 14.44 million WMT in the same period last year. The drop in sales volume was almost in direct proportion to unrealized workable days caused by unfavorable weather that adversely affected the Company’s mining operations during the period. The weighted average nickel ore sales price during the period increased by 5 percent to $29.46 per WMT against $28.05 per WMT in the same period last year. The company realized P54.22 per US dollar from these nickel ore sales, a 10-percent increase from P49.17 last year. Breaking down the ore sales, the Company exported 6.68 million WMT of saprolite and limonite ore at the average price of $38.87 per WMT during the nine-month period from 8.72 million WMT at $38.88 per WMT in the same period last year. Likewise, the Company delivered 5.76 million WMT of limonite ore to the Coral Bay and Taganito highpressure acid leach (HPAL) plants, the prices of which are linked to the London Metal Exchange (LME) and realized an average price of $11.66 per pound of payable nickel. This compares to 5.72 million WMT at $8.20 per pound of payable nickel in 2021. Expressed in US dollar per WMT, the average price for the deliveries to the HPAL plants were $18.55 and $11.54 in the first three quarters of 2022 and 2021, respectively. “Despite the challenges in our mining operations due to adverse weather conditions at our mine sites, the favorable LME nickel price and strong US dollar helped drive revenues up by 2 percent from the prior year,” said Martin Antonio G. Zamora, President and CEO. Owing to the higher LME nickel price during the period, NAC also recognized gains from its equity share in investments in the two HPAL plants in the combined amount of P1.02 billion against P340.4 million the prior year. The strong US dollar further enabled NAC to log a 162-percent hike in net foreign exchange gains from its foreign currency denominated net financial assets to P1.54 billion from P587.2 million the year prior. Total operating cash costs increased by 8 percent year-on-year to P9.54 billion from P8.86 billion last year. On a per WMT sold basis, total operating cash costs increased to P767 compared to P614 in 2021. Renewable Energy NAC’s renewable energy arm, Emerging Power Inc. (EPI), on a consolidated basis, registered a 60-percent increase in revenues to P393.67 million and a 51-percent increase in EBITDA of P239.50 million. This was primarily due to a 56-percent year-on-year increase in the generation capacity of its operating arm Jobin-SQM Inc. (JSI) to 79,022-megawatt hours after the completion of its 38-MW expansion last June, bringing its total capacity to 100 MW. Between January and September of this year, 70 percent of the power from JSI’s Sta. Rita plant were sold to retail electricity suppliers through power supply agreements while the remaining 30 percent were sold to the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). Overall, power sales were done at an average realized tariff of P4.98 per kilowatt-hour. JSI logged a net income of P72.83 million, allowing EPI to trim its losses to P133 million from the same period last year, a 53-percent reduction thanks to higher economies of scale and improved market conditions. EPI also began the development and construction of an additional 68 MW in the Subic site last September, set to go online by the fourth quarter of 2023. In terms of the Forecast Accuracy Standards for variable renewable energy sources in the WESM, the Sta. Rita solar power plant also ranked first out of 29 solar plants in Luzon and third out of 41 solar plants across the country in terms of performance, based on the latest report of the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation in May. Forging ahead, EPI also recently entered into a joint venture agreement with Shell Overseas Investments B.V. for the establishment of a platform to develop, own, operate, and maintain utility-scale onshore solar and wind power generations projects as well as battery energy storage systems in the Philippines. The venture, with an equity ownership of 60-percent EPI and 40-percent Shell under a newly formed company Greenlight Renewables Holdings, Inc., aims to have an aggregate operating capacity of 1,000 MW by 2028. “The joint venture has the full support of EPI’s parent company, NAC. This partnership would allow both companies to boost the supply of renewable energy in the Philippines and is in line with NAC’s vision to become the premier ESG investment in the country,” said Zamora. Lorelie Q. Osial, country chair of the Shell Companies in the Philippines, also echoed the same sentiment: “Working with partners and developing new collaborations is key to accelerate the energy transition. This Shell-EPI partnership will leverage on Shell’s technical expertise and integrated solutions as a global energy company and EPI’s strong presence in the Philippines. Together, we can power progress for the Philippines through sustainable energy for industries and homes.” Ultimately, the joint venture is an opportunity to provide integrated value to customers through exploring synergies with retail electricity supplier Shell Energy Philippines, Inc. Special Cash Dividend The Company’s Board of Directors approved the declaration of a special cash dividend of P0.23 per share of common stock, payable on Dec. 9, 2022, to shareholders of record on Nov. 24, 2022. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - November 11, 2022
Data-informed governance of extractive industries crucial: Diokno
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno has cited the importance of improving the inclusive and data-informed management of the extractive industries in driving long-term economic expansion as he cited its PHP363-billion contribution to government revenues from 2012 to 2019. “With the Marcos administration banking on the potential of the extractive sector to drive long-term economic expansion, the inclusive and data-informed governance of the extractive industries becomes more critical than ever,” said Finance Secretary Diokno at the FORGE PH: Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) National Conference on Tuesday. FORGE PH is the annual assembly of the extractive sector that updates stakeholders on progress in achieving greater transparency and accountability in the extractive industries. This year, the national conference focused on how the PH-EITI can respond to concerns on climate change and energy transition, which is in line with the initiative to incorporate sustainability concerns in the global reporting standard. “We call on our participants to actively and constructively engage one another and develop concrete actions to improve the management of this very important sector,” Diokno said, as he advocated the PH-EITI as a platform for data transparency and multi-stakeholder participation in extractives governance. The government will take necessary steps to strengthen and broaden the space for inclusive multi-sectoral engagement. As such, local government capacity to govern extractive activities, specifically small-scale mining sectors, will be improved through the subnational implementation of EITI. Moreover, the EITI platform will be used to ensure equitable government revenue share from resource utilization, which is demonstrated in PH-EITI’s contribution to the crafting of a new fiscal regime for mining. EITI data will be utilized to inform the public and stakeholders of initiatives towards climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the transition to low-carbon energy. With this, Diokno urged stakeholders to continue using PH-EITI data in their research work and policy advocacy. “As we close in on our first decade of being an EITI-implementing country, we commit to making implementation more inclusive, more meaningful, and responsive to the needs of our stakeholders,” he said. The EITI International, led by its chair, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, has been supporting the Philippines in maintaining a high level of transparency and stakeholder engagement in its extractive industries. The PH-EITI is a government-led, multi-stakeholder initiative implementing EITI, the global standard that promotes the open, accountable management, and good governance of oil, gas, and mineral resources. It was created on Nov. 26, 2013 through EO No. 147, series of 2013.
Philippine Resources - November 11, 2022
Marcos OKs DOE offshore wind power dev't plans
Photo: President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. presides over a meeting with Department of Energy officials at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Wednesday (Nov. 19, 2022). They discussed "immediate and medium-term" plans to improve the energy sector. (Photo courtesy of OP) President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has given his nod to the Department of Energy's plan to explore and develop the country's offshore wind (OSW) potential as a source of clean and sustainable energy, Malacañang announced Wednesday. This developed, after Marcos presided over a meeting with DOE officials at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Wednesday morning to discuss "immediate and medium-term" plans to improve the energy sector. "In a meeting at the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday, President Marcos instructed DOE Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla and other energy officials to move forward with the agency's offshore wind energy production initiatives," Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) said in a statement. Garafil noted that during the meeting, the DOE also made a proposal to create an Offshore Wind Development and Investment Council that will serve as a one-stop shop for OSW developers. Marcos, Garafil said, backed the proposed creation of the council that will be composed of relevant government agencies, but stressed that the DOE should oversee the regulatory functions to streamline coordination and simplify the approval process. "It should be the Department of Energy [which] should be talking with the OSW developers, in consultation with the council, of course. It has to be led by the DOE," Marcos, as quoted by the OPS, said. Bringing down electricity prices In a media interview while onboard the presidential plane en route to Cambodia, Marcos reiterated his commitment to push for lower rates of electricity. Marcos said he met with the DOE officials to discuss the “short-term, medium-term, and long-term” energy requirements in the country. “We spent a long time talking about how to bring down the prices,” he said, noting that the DOE found a way to rationalize power supply. Marcos also noted that there have been ongoing talks with local cooperatives to discuss how “they can sell power at the cheapest price possible.” Based on the World Bank's OSW Roadmap, the Philippines has the capacity to deploy 40 Gigawatts of OSW electricity by 2050. Currently, there are 42 approved offshore wind contracts with an indicated capacity of 31,000 Megawatts (MW), based on the data presented by the DOE to Marcos. Private sector's 'strong interest' The DOE also noted the "strong interest" from the private sector, especially from countries considered "leaders in offshore wind technology" such as Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom. “This is more than enough to cover the 500,000 MW projected peak demand the country will require by 2040 based on DOE's medium to long-term power outlook,” Lotilla told the President. Lotilla emphasized that the power that will be generated through OSW projects would be used to help the country meet its energy needs, as well as to produce alternative fuels, such as Green Hydrogen. Citing the DOE report, Garafil said hydrogen may be converted into ammonia, which is a primary component in the production of industrial fertilizers used in agriculture. The DOE said hydrogen may be converted into ammonia, which is a primary component in the production of industrial fertilizers used in agriculture. In 2021, the DOE signed a memorandum of understanding with Australia's Star Scientific Ltd. and Japan's Hydrogen Technology Inc. to explore the potential of hydrogen as a source of energy for the Philippines in the future. Contingency plans Garafil said the DOE also presented to Marcos its November 2022 to December 2023 outlook which showed that power reserves in Luzon may fall below ideal levels, given the continued shutdown of the Ilijan Power Plant in Batangas City, which has a total capacity of 1,200 MW. "As a contingency, the energy department proposes to run the Ilijan Power plant, a dual-fuel power station in Ilijan, Batangas City, using diesel fuel to produce 420 MW, as well as implement the Interruptible Load Program," Garafil said. Garafil added that the DOE and concerned government agencies are closely coordinating to address the delays in the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines' (NGCP) transmission line projects to free up power capacity for 2023. She said the DOE would also release "short-term" action plans that will serve as guide of the energy sector for 2022 to 2024, pending the release of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028. The DOE has also developed the Philippine Energy Plan 2020-2040, a 20-year plan which includes energy sector initiatives and projects that seek to ensure sustainable, stable, secure, adequate, accessible and inexpensive energy. The 20-year plan is setting a target of 35 percent share of renewable energy in the power generation mix by 2030 and 50 percent share by 2040. Marcos, in his first State of the Nation Address delivered on July 25, emphasized the need to prioritize clean energy and tap natural gas and nuclear power to meet the Philippines' energy demands. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - November 11, 2022
House forms TWG for bills on dev't of PH natural gas industry
Photo credit: BusinessWorld The House Committee on Energy on Thursday formed a technical working group (TWG) to discuss the proposal to pursue the development of the country's natural gas industry, which is a legislative priority of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. In his opening remarks, committee chair and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco said the priority legislative measure would provide a framework for the development of the natural gas industry in its transition from an emerging to a mature industry, promote a competitive natural gas market and define responsibilities of various government agencies and private entities in furtherance of the national goal. Velasco said the Philippines still lacks a clear, comprehensive and integrated legislative framework that would serve as a pillar toward achieving the rapid development of the country's natural gas sector. "The lack of such clear policies is detrimental to the thrust of the Department of Energy to attract foreign investors to invest in our natural gas potentials or importation or transmission of the same," he said in the bill's explanatory note. He said the passage of the bill would promote natural gas as a safe, environment-friendly, efficient and cost-effective source of energy. It would also create favorable conditions to establish a natural gas industry serving all segments of the nation’s population in different sectors of the economy, he noted. He said the bill would promote the development of the Philippines as a liquefied natural gas trading and transshipment hub within the Asia-Pacific region. The panel held initial deliberation on eight measures, seven of which would promote the development of the Philippine downstream natural gas industry, while the other proposal would provide for the national energy policy and framework for the development and regulation of the Philippine midstream natural gas industry. The panel nominated Committee on Energy Vice Chair and SAGIP Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta to head the TWG. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - November 11, 2022
Construction of New Manila Int'l Airport in Bulacan in full swing
The construction of the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, some 35 kilometers north of Metro Manila, is in full swing, with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista leading the inspection over the weekend. In a news release issued Monday, the DOTr said Bautista was joined by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and CEO Ramon Ang and other transport officials during the inspection in the town of Bulakan. Bautista assured stakeholders of the new international airport that the gateway will soon be open for business. Operations at the new gateway are targeted to start in 2027. Land development works are now being done at the airport’s 1,693-hectare site. Works on the PHP735-billion airport officially started on Sept. 18, 2019, when the government, through the DOTr, signed a concession agreement with San Miguel Aerocity Inc. (SMAI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of San Miguel Holdings Corp., and the infrastructure arm of SMC. The DOTr and the SMAI are working together to make sure that the project complies with environmental protection requirements, particularly flood mitigation, considering the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) which was conducted prior to the commencement of works at the airport site. Once built, the new international airport will be fully owned by the government under a “build-operate-transfer” program. Once operational, the new gateway will not only help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as the capital’s main gateway, but will also be a “game changer” and catalyst of economic growth in Central Luzon. Phase 1 of the airport will have a capacity of 35 million passengers per annum, is expected generate more than 1 million jobs, and rake-in increased foreign direct investments and higher exports. Under the 50-year concession agreement, SMAI will undertake the financing, design, construction, supply, completion, testing, commissioning, and operation and maintenance of the new international gateway. With a design capacity of up to 100 million passengers annually and plans for four parallel runways, the New Manila International Airport is expected to help decongest the NAIA and enable the airports in the Greater Capital Region (Metro Manila and nearby provinces) to meet forecast passenger demand.
Marcelle P. Villegas - November 10, 2022
German-PH Chamber Reports Promising Economic Growth During 2022
“Although there is a seen decrease in the bilateral trade between Germany and the Philippines when comparing the first half of 2022 and 2021 data, it remains to be a major contributor to the latter's trade relations with the EU.” (from GPCCI Market Watch) A quick look at the future: The Philippines is expected to join the free trade agreement -- Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. This would benefit the Philippine metals industry. The German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act will have a significant impact on business practices across the Asia-Pacific (including the Philippines, which lists Germany as its 10th largest export trading partner).
Fernando Penarroyo - November 08, 2022
Marcos Bets on Mining
Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. is barely in his first year of his office and already is facing a myriad of challenges from soaring inflation and public debt to a devaluating peso against the dollar. While trying to sustain economic recovery following stagnation from the COVID-19 pandemic, Marcos is hard put to tame the increasing costs of consumer goods and services, and manage public debt which places the economy in a tight fiscal position. Rising inflation will also result not only in the lost of jobs but also declining pay for workers driven by higher costs of living. Conditions will deteriorate further with a devaluing peso against the dollar making it more expensive to import fuel for transport and power, and raw materials needed for local manufacturing. Amidst the rising public liability, more taxpayers’ money will be utilized for debt servicing that will leave little for the provision of government services and the upgrade of infrastructure. Government must focus on improving transport facilities, power transmission, and energy utilities to attract foreign investment. Among the major risks hampering recovery are external factors like the prolonged conflict between Ukraine and Russia and a weaker peso against the dollar brought about by US Federal Reserve moves to hike interest rates to tame inflation in their country. These make it more expensive for businesses and consumers to borrow money and discourages demand for goods and services causing the surge in prices especially of fuel and food, which can stunt economic growth not only in the US but also globally. Government Turns to Mining Heeding the call of business groups, the Marcos administration is turning to mining that could help ensure a sustainable recovery of the Philippine economy from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of a global economic slowdown. The benefit of mobilizing investments for mine development has been underscored by Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, who assured the Marcos administration’s commitment to continue creating an enabling environment for mining activities. However, Diokno also pointed out that the government expects the mining industry to strictly adhere to responsible and sustainable practices. He further said that the industry should strike a balance between protecting the environment, uplifting local communities, and supporting the government’s socioeconomic agenda. Diokno reported that the Marcos economic team presented the medium-term fiscal framework and for targets to succeed under the two-part framework, the mining industry would have to perform well. During the Philippine Economic Briefing in New York where President Marcos delivered a keynote message to American investors, Diokno emphasized the administration’s commitment to help maximize the mining sector’s potential in attracting more foreign investments. Playing Catch Up The mining industry considered the Duterte administration as another wasted era for realizing the full economic potential of the sector. The Marcos government inherited a mining industry reeling from the anti-mining stance of the previous administration with the appointment of the late Regina Paz Lopez, a staunch anti-mining advocate, to head the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The appointment was bitterly opposed by the industry resulting in Lopez’s rejection by the powerful bicameral Commission on Appointments. During her term, Lopez ordered the closure of mining operations and initiated a national mine audit conducted on behalf of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council. Mining stakeholders described the three years of closure of these companies as “arbitrary” and claim that at that time, the industry practically “gasped for breath.” With COVID-19 bringing down the economy on its knees and a worsening economic fallout becoming inevitable, Duterte issued Executive Order No. 130 in April 2021, lifting the nine-year moratorium on the granting of new mining permits. Finally in December 2021, the Duterte administration succumbing to economic pressure, lifted the ban on open-pit mining. It is well to note that at the height of the pandemic in 2021, the mining sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) improved to 5.2% from 5.1% in 2020 driven mainly by nickel demand overseas and high gold prices. This was in stark contrast to other sectors which suffered a decline due to the lockdowns that were imposed because of COVID-19. Early in the term of Duterte, then Senator Marcos lamented that the Duterte administration has failed to put up a vision for the mining industry. Worse, he said the government's anti-mining stance has slowed down the development of the mining industry, citing among others, the "use-it-or-lose-it" policy the DENR implemented in 2010 in a bid to open to new investors mines that have not been operated on. At that time, Marcos noted that the DENR has not issued any new mining agreements. He also criticized the then proposed expansion of the "no-go" zones for mining and the proposed increase in the government's share of 10 percent of gross output or 55 percent of adjusted mining revenue. Marcos said that if the government’s reason is only to receive more taxes out of the mining industry, such move would only deter investments in that sector. However, Marcos said the mining industry must also address other valid issues raised against it, apart from environmental concerns. He reminded the industry to ensure that affected local communities should derive more tangible benefits from mining and assure that necessary safeguards are in place for the protection of their environment and ecology. Marcos Mining Policy Pronouncements Now that he is at the helm of the presidency, Marcos said that he would push for "clean mining" and want to see some value added to mineral exports by selling processed materials rather than ores. Instead of increasing taxes on mining, Marcos is eyeing the collection of value-added taxes from the export of partially-processed ore. The Marcos administration demonstrated its commitment to pursue transparency in natural resource governance by rejoining the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) following the Duterte administration's withdrawal in June 2022 over concerns on metrics and procedures used for assessing the country’s compliance with transparency requirements. In 23 August 2022, EITI invited the Philippines to re-state its commitment to the EITI and build on the progress that the country has achieved in the past nine years. By returning to the EITI fold, the Marcos administration cited the value of good governance and anti-corruption measures in maximizing the extractive sector’s contribution to resource mobilization and sustainable economic growth. The government hopes that its return to EITI will complement the Marcos administration’s agenda on transparency and accountability. The government implemented the PH-EITI, a multi-stakeholder group chaired by the DOF and composed of representatives from government, industry, and civil society in 2013 pursuant to Section 14 of Executive Order No. 79, s. 2012 and Executive Order No. 147, s. 2013. Annual disclosure of contracts, financial, economic, social and environmental data is mandatory for extractive industries pursuant to the DENR Administrative Order No. 2017-07. Marcos in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) declared that infrastructure development will remain “a very high priority” with emphasis placed on enabling private sector contracts and investment incentives in the energy sector. Several experts in their post-SONA analysis, however, agreed that Marcos failed to mention issues arising from mining. There were plans to look for additional energy sources like natural gas reserves, build new nuclear power plants and invest in the renewable energy sector. This was unwelcome news for environmental and climate activists. Civil society groups criticized Marcos for paying lip service to climate action in his SONA. They urged Marcos to revoke his predecessor’s mining policies that relaxed restrictions on mining. They also asked Marcos to convene an environmental summit that involves the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the mining industry, and communities affected by mining operations to discuss current mining issues, stressing a need to prioritize environmental concerns. The purpose of the summit according to civil society groups is to craft the government’s environmental program, instruct lawmakers to prioritize the legislation of environmental bills, and launch a review on the categorization of mining as an “essential industry.” Marcos assured that the country’s resiliency and adaptation to the challenges pose by climate change will be on top of his administration’s national agenda. Speaking at the 2022 DENR Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Oct. 5, Marcos vowed to ensure environmental initiatives to combat climate change will be undertaken under his watch. Industry Expectations Industry groups continue to call for legislation to allow 100% ownership of certain businesses by foreigners. They emphasized that full foreign ownership would create massive incentives for foreign investment and entice a lot of successful foreign businesses to expand their operations in the Philippines. Marcos is expected to be in favor of policies that will promote exports, and expand new and established businesses. He will focus on the most lucrative industries which include mining and mineral processing, which are poised to make the fastest and largest increases in revenues and productivity. Despite the administration’s assurance of a conducive investment climate for the industry, the House of Representatives' Committee on Ways and Means approved a bill proposing a new fiscal regime for the Philippine mining industry in August 2022. Representative Jose Ma. Clemente Salceda, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, filed House Bill 5022, which proposes an imposition of royalty on mining operations within and outside mineral reservations. Under the committee-approved measure, a royalty tax of 5% will be imposed on the market value of the gross output of large-scale mining operations. The present law requires payment of 5% royalty based on gross output only in mining sites declared as mineral reservations. The bill also seeks to impose a windfall profit tax on a mining company if its total tax payments fail to meet the specified minimum government share from mining contracts. Under the bill, the minimum government share from all mining contracts would be 60% of net mining revenues. Mining companies operating under Mineral Production Sharing Agreements are not subject to windfall profit tax. The bill seeks to impose a 10% export tax based on the market value of mineral ore exports. A mining company will be treated as a separate taxpayer with respect to each of its mining contracts, which seeks to increase the tax base by ensuring that losses from other mining projects will not be deducted from the more profitable ones. Likewise, to institutionalize transparency standards, the government will implement a mechanism for the public disclosure and scrutiny of all mining tax and revenue data in the extractives value chain. While Salceda said the bill will raise additional P37.5 billion revenues in just the first full year of its implementation, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) said a law raising taxes on mining will once again set back the revitalization of the industry. COMP described the consolidated bill as onerous, raising the effective tax rate on mining to 51 percent from the current 38 percent. Initially withdrawn by the sponsor, the bill has been reportedly resubmitted to the Committee for further discussion including the possibility of being watered down. Perhaps the greatest challenge for Marcos is how to balance diplomatic and economic relations between the United States and China. He acknowledged that the Philippines and the US have strong and enduring ties in trade and commerce with the US as the Philippines’ third largest trading partner and second major source of foreign direct investments in 2021. Marcos and US President Joe Biden during a meeting in September 2022 also underscored the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. On the other hand, Marcos is keen in renewing talks with China on joint oil and gas exploration in the disputed West Philippine Sea to seek a compromise with China as long as any agreement do not violate Philippine laws. While pledging to foster closer ties with China, and describing Beijing as Manila’s “strongest partner” in the pandemic recovery, the Marcos administration has been stepping up diplomatic protests against China’s alleged “incursions” in the disputed territory. The real test for Marcos, however, is his government’s willingness to assert the country’s economic rights over the Reed (Recto) Bank and lift the moratorium on exploration and drilling activities in the area. Petroleum exploration companies with service contracts awarded by the Philippine government have been unable to conduct seismic surveys in the area because of harassment by Chinese coast guards. There is an urgency on this matter as the Malampaya natural gas field is being rapidly depleted and imported liquefied natural gas may not be enough to fuel the power plants in the short term, which may then have to resort to diesel fuel, a more expensive alternative. Another issue that needs to be resolved by the Marcos administration is the controversial open-pit mine in Tampakan, South Cotabato. Taking the cue from the Duterte government’s lifting of the open pit mining ban, the previous members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of South Cotabato lifted its 12-year-old provincial ban last May 16, despite strong opposition from civil society, the church, and some traditional landowners. However, on June 3, Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. vetoed the measure paving the way for the resumption of the ban on open-pit mining. During the presidential campaign, Marcos said that he is open to allow "sustainable" mining while expressing wariness toward open-pit mining operations. He believed that even if such mines are closed, harmful chemicals could leak out of the former sites. It remains to be seen how Marcos is going to handle the US$5.9 billion Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, touted as the largest undeveloped copper-gold mine in Southeast Asia and among the biggest of its kind in the world. The good news is that if there are any indications of the Marcos administration’s seriousness in attracting foreign investments, then we can consider the reforms currently being implemented in renewable energy sector as an encouraging sign. The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that a legal opinion provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ) paved the way for the opening of foreign investments in renewable energy. The DOJ said that exploration, development, and utilization of “inexhaustible” renewable energy source are not subject to the 60:40 foreign equity limitation as provided under Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution. The DOJ further opined that in order to implement the full ownership of RE resources by foreigners, the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 9513 or the “Renewable Energy Act of 2008” particularly Rule 6, Section 19 must be amended to amend the 40-percent equity limit for foreign investors. The DOE has also made all qualified and registered renewable energy generating plants as preferential dispatch in the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM), used for centralized trading of electricity. This will encourage investments for additional capacities in geothermal, biomass, and impounding hydroelectric power plants. The guaranteed dispatch in the grid at the power plant’s full available capacities under merchant pricing, will allow recovery of investments by renewable energy developers. Finally, the DOE has also raised the percentage of the utilization of renewable energy for on-grid areas from one percent to 2.52 percent. The Renewable Portfolio Standard, a policy mechanism which aims to increase the use of renewable energy sources for electricity generation, requires electricity suppliers, particularly the distribution utilities, to source or produce a specified fraction of their power supply from eligible renewable energy resources. If the Marcos government is indeed serious to walk the talk, then now is the right time to take advantage of the current upswing of global spending in support of post-pandemic reconstruction, creating a resurgence of demand for mineral and energy commodities. Inviting investors to put their money in our mining industry only to welcome them with the imposition of new taxes is always a zero sum proposition. Hopefully this time, our regulators will not cause the mining industry to miss the boat again. Fernando “Ronnie” S. Penarroyo specializes in Energy and Resources Law, Project Finance and Business Development. He is also currently the Chair of the Professional Regulatory Board of Geology. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for any matters or inquiries in relation to the Philippine resources industry and suggested topics for commentaries. Atty. Penarroyo’s commentaries are also archived at his professional blogsite at www.penarroyo.com References Abarro, Mico, Marcos Jr. Open to 'Sustainable' Mining, Wary of Open-pit Mining” ABS-CBN News, 25 January 2022, https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/01/25/22/marcos-jr-open-to-sustainable-mining Marcos Admin Commits to Transparency and Good Governance in the Extractive Industries, 09 September 2022, https://www.dof.gov.ph/marcos-admin-commits-to-transparency-and-good-governance-in-the-extractive-industries/ Next Admin Must Have a Vision to Realize Potential of the Country’s Mining Industry - Sen. Marcos, 18 September 2015, https://legacy.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2015/0918_marcos1.asp Parrocha, Azer, Marcos Eyes VAT from Partially-Processed Ore Exports, 20 June 2022, https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1177137 Sayson, ByIan C., Calonzo, Andreo, and Ahn, Shery, Philippines’ Marcos Eyes China Compromise on South China Sea, Bloomberg, 24 September 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-24/philippines-marcos-seeks-china-compromise-on-south-china-sea-oil Sewell, Jared M., What We Should Expect from the Marcos Administration? 29 May 2022, ,https://www.kea-mining-and-quarrying-services.com/philippine-mining-prospects-under-marcos/ Zablan, Clarist, Green Group Urges Marcos to Reverse Duterte’s Mining Policy, Seeks Dialogue, 21 July 2022, https://news.tv5.com.ph/breaking/read/mining-policy-green-group-urges-marcos-to-reverse-dutertes-mining-policy-seeks-dialogue
Philippine Resources - November 07, 2022
Maiden Mineral Resource for Celsius’ Sagay Cu-Au Project
Photo credit: Celsius Resources Celsius Resources Limited is pleased to declare a maiden JORC compliant Mineral Resource for the Sagay (SGY) Copper-Gold Project (“Project”), held under its Philippine Subsidiary Company, Tambuli Mining Co., Inc (TMCI) and located at the Island of Negros in the Philippines. The latest results suggest that the SGY Project hosts a large-scale porphyry copper-gold mineralisation. The Global Mineral Resource estimate comprises 302 million tonnes of 0.41% copper, and 0.11g/t gold, at a lower cutoff grade of 0.2% copper. The maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) is located at Nabiga-a Hill, within the broader SGY Project area. At Nabiga-a, the MRE has been defined by a total of 32 diamond drill holes which are very broadly spaced and have shown copper mineralisation over an extensive area from the surface down to 1.2km in depth. Celsius Resources Executive Director Peter Hume said: “The copper mineralisation at Sagay is truly large scale, with potential to develop into another significant copper deposit in the Philippines.” “We have only drilled a modest number of holes into this deposit but the large intersections have already defined 1.2Mt of copper. With open intersection at multiple positions and in multiple directions, we anticipate that further drilling will lead to substantial growth in the known copper mineralisation.” “We also have some evidence that higher-grade zones could exist within the huge lower-grade copper envelop. We look forward to the next phase of exploration which will also focus on investigating the possible extensions of these higher-grade positions closer to the surface.” Celsius Resources is still in the process of finding a suitable partner to develop the Sagay Project. Article courtesy of Celsius Resources
Philippine Resources - November 07, 2022
Celsius Resources hits 65m @ 1.73%Cu & 0.37g/t Au from MCB-041
Photo credit: Celsius Resources Celsius Resources is pleased to announce they have received further shallow and high-grade copper assay results from the ongoing drilling program at their flagship MCB copper-gold project, owned by its Philippine subsidiary Makilala Mining Company, Inc. (“MMCI”). The results continue to extend the envelope of the near surface mineralisation which complement previous drilling results from holes completed at MCB from 2021 to 2022 and validate the historical drilling information completed by Freeport-McMoRan. The results from MCB-041 are particularly significant as they have allowed the near surface higher-grade copper mineralisation envelope to extend further to the east. This location in general was previously only supported by one drill hole (MCB-010A – see Figure 1). MCB-041 has significantly expanded the footprint of the near surface, higher-grade copper mineralisation at MCB. Country Operations Director Mr. Peter Hume said: “Our drilling strategy was modified in 2022 to shift the focus from deep targets to the recently identified near surface higher-grade targets and it is starting to significantly pay off with better-than-expected results.” “We had previously interpreted that the high-grade targets were mostly at depth, but an analysis of the recent results, particularly from MCB-036* which intersected 59m @ 1.29% copper and 0.27g/t gold, MCB-037** which intersected 28.95m @ 1.12% copper and 0.06g/t gold, and now MCB-041, have confirmed the presence of a more extensive shallow copper mineralisation than previously understood.” “We expect these combined results will make a solid positive enhancement to the feasibility study which will commence in early 2023.” Article courtesy of Celsius Resources
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Philippine Resources - November 07, 2022
San Miguel Global Power plants over 5 million trees, targets battery storage project sites for forestation
Photo credit: San Miguel Bolstering its climate action initiatives, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) power subsidiary San Miguel Global Power (SMGP) reported the successful planting and growing of over five million new trees and mangroves from 2019 to date, under its multi-year, nationwide forestation and carbon capture program. The company said it is also expanding the scope of the project to reforest areas around its new Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) facilities—the first and largest such network in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. SMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang said that as of October 2022, SMCGP’s “Project 747” initiative has yielded a total of 5,010,116 upland and mangrove trees, across some 1,500 hectares of land. The project’s goal is to plant seven million trees on some 4,000 hectares of land, in at least seven provinces. Thus far, SMCGP has planted in eight: Albay, Bataan, Bulacan, Davao Occidental, Negros Occidental, Pangasinan, Quezon province, and Zambales. The list is however being expanded to cover areas where SMCGP’s battery storage facilities are installed or are being put up. These include Albay, Bohol, Cagayan, Cebu, Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Isabela, Laguna, Leyte, Misamis Oriental, Pampanga, Pangasinan, and Tarlac. SMCGP is building a total of 31 BESS facilities with a total capacity of 1,000 MW. The battery facilities, which will minimize power wastage and redirect otherwise unused capacity to remote areas, are regarded as the best and most sustainable technical solution to the country’s power quality and reliability issues. They are seen to balance and improve access to power nationwide. More importantly, it will make viable use of intermittent renewable sources such as solar and wind by efficiently storing the energy for electricity when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing. “Reforestation is one of the major sustainability priorities of the entire San Miguel Group. While we have had many similar efforts initiated by our various subsidiaries in the past, SMCGP has taken it to another level, planting a record 5 million trees in just under three years, with consistently high survival rates” Ang said. He credited SMCGP’s partner communities and people’s organizations, local government units, and employee volunteers, with the success of the initiative so far. He said that to ensure high survival rates for its trees--currently at around 90% for both upland and coastal projects--SMGP partners with local communities to identify and plant needed indigenous tree species. Community members are also engaged to take care of, and ensure the healthy growth of forests, under the program’s livelihood component. “With our continued partnership with communities and local stakeholders, we are confident that not only will we reach our targets, but the trees we are planting today will grow to full maturity and benefit their surrounding environment for generations to come,” Ang said. He added that foresting the areas around its new BESS facilities also makes sense because the facilities themselves are a major step to strengthening the entry of renewable energy capacities in the future. “The major challenge of renewable power everywhere in the world is intermittence. With renewables, the ability to generate power is always limited. You cannot generate solar power at nighttime, or when weather conditions block sunlight. You cannot produce wind power when there’s no wind. When there’s a drought, you also can’t produce hydropower. Battery storage is key to mitigating all these issues,” Ang said. “That is why we have prioritized putting up the country’s first battery facilities and first and largest battery network to date. It is key to enabling the use of more renewable capacities in the grid, and a critical part of our phased transition and expansion to cleaner and renewable power,” he added. Ang emphasized that SMCGP’s transition away from coal power towards cleaner Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) power and renewable energy, is being pursued responsibly, “without compromising our developing economy’s growing need for reliable and affordable power, and while also continuing effort to bring basic electrification to the entire country.”
Philippine Resources - November 07, 2022
PBBM vows more infra that will bring comfort, progress to Pinoys
Photo credit: Philippine News Agency President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. believes that the government owes it to the Filipino people to build major roads and critical infrastructure that will spur progress and social change, promote interconnectivity, ease traffic and reduce travel time. He made this remark after he witnessed on Thursday the signing of two contracts that will finance the civil works of four stations of the Metro Manila Subway-Contract Packages 102 (CP102) and 103 (CP103). In his speech after the signing of the contracts, Marcos assured the public, particularly commuters, that the government will strive to provide a more efficient public transportation system in the country. "We owe it to the Filipino people to build major roads and critical infrastructure that will not only spur progress and social change, but also promote interconnectivity, ease traffic, and reduce travel time," Marcos said. “Let me assure you that the government remains dedicated to maximizing its resources to pursue even more ambitious endeavors that will bring comfort and progress to Filipinos all over the country,” he added. He also urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to ensure the smooth and faithful implementation of all subway projects that are underway. “The signing of these contract packages is a clear demonstration of this administration’s commitment to pursuing big infrastructure projects that will foster growth and revitalize the economy,” Marcos said. Meanwhile, Marcos thanked Japan for partnering with the Philippines in pursuing what he described as an “important infrastructure development project.” “The world recognizes Japan for having a very efficient rail transport system, which the Philippines aspires to one day emulate,” Marcos told guests at the Malacañang Palace. He also expressed gratitude to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for providing financial support for the implementation of CP102 and CP103. “I thank you not only for this specific project, I thank the JICA who have been supporting the development of the Philippines for the last 50 years. Especially in terms of our infrastructure projects and even our agricultural projects,” he said. He also acknowledged the Nishimatsu-DMCI Joint Venture and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction for working closely with the Philippines in ensuring the completion of these contract packages. CP102, with a total contract amount of approximately PHP21 billion, was awarded to the joint venture of Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd. and D.M. Consunji Inc (DMCI), while CP103 with a total contract amount of approximately PHP28 billion was awarded to Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co., Ltd. CP102 involves the construction of the Quezon Avenue Station (located inside the former Manila Seedling Bank, EDSA corner Quezon Avenue) and the East Avenue Station (along V. Luna Avenue), including the connecting tunnels. CP103 involves constructing Anonas Station (at Barangay Project 4, Quezon City) and Camp Aguinaldo Station (inside Camp Aguinaldo), including the connecting tunnels. The Anonas subway station will interconnect with Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) Anonas Station. Jobs and other opportunities Meanwhile, Marcos said he is optimistic that the subway projects will not only ease the flow of people, goods, and services in Metro Manila but also generate jobs and opportunities for Filipinos. “Even before it begins its operations, it is already set to yield many fruits—the implementation of the civil works for Contract Package 102 and Contract Package 103 alone is set to create thousands of jobs and opportunities for many Filipinos,” Marcos said. Once operational, the project is expected to benefit more than half a million passengers per day from as far north as Valenzuela City to as far south as Parañaque City. “We hope to reduce the terrible sight of going home at midnight along EDSA and still seeing people waiting to take the bus,” he said. The project is also expected to reduce travel time between Quezon City and Pasay from one hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes. “That is the advantage of what the subway will bring. They know that they can always go to the subway station and there will be a train coming along in a few minutes. The cut in travel time is also very important but still it is to reduce the uncertainty as to when we will get home. We will reduce the terrible stories that we hear of people who no longer see their children because they come home 1:30 in the morning and the children as asleep. They have to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning to get back on the bus to fight with the traffic coming back to work. The subway and all our public transport systems will be able to help and remedy so the quality of life in the city should improve significantly,” he added. By Azer Parrocha Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - November 03, 2022
Integral Offers Sustainable Mining Operations With Emerson
an article by Mark Adrian D. Lenon ~ Mining is entering a new era. This phase, known as Mining 4.0, recognizes the role of digital transformation in sustainable mining operations. With more affordable and simpler solutions to monitor plant assets, it has become viable for mining companies to assert total control over their operations. Emerson practises a “Human-Centred” approach to innovation. In this light, the company ensures that its solutions eliminate unnecessary work, reduce complexity, and embed knowledge for the benefit of less-experienced workers.¹ Hence, end-users of all skill levels can utilise an ever-changing technology landscape.
Philippine Resources - November 03, 2022
SMPC sets new profit record; 9M 2022 net income up 250% to P36B exceeding FY2021
Photo credit: Bilyonaryo Integrated energy company Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) set a new profit record during the first nine months of the year, as its consolidated net income surged 250 percent from P10.3 billion to P36 billion—more than double (122%) its 2021 net income of P16.2 billion. Its exceptional performance was mainly due to the combined effect of elevated market prices, all-time high coal production and higher spot electricity sales volume. “Historically, the third quarter is our slowest because of the rainy season and sluggish demand. But because of improved market prices, we did much better than expected,” said SMPC president and COO Maria Cristina C. Gotianun. For the third quarter alone, SMPC netted P10.2 billion, a 153-percent upswing from P4 billion during the same period last year. From January to September, average selling prices of Semirara coal rallied by 122 percent from P2,351/metric ton (MT) to P5,224/MT due to the surge in global index prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Average Newcastle prices surged by 191 percent from US$121.70 to US$353.80 while average Indonesian Coal Index 4 expanded by 50 percent from US$56.10 to US$84.30. Nine-month coal production grew by 27 percent from 10.8 million metric tons (MMT) to a record 13.7 MMT due to controlled water seepage levels in Molave mine and better coal access in East Block 4 and South Block 5. Meanwhile, its power business posted a 216-percent increase in spot market sales from 489 gigawatt hours (GWh) to 1,546 GWh owing to a 5-percent uptick in plant availability, 7-percent improvement in gross generation and pivot away from bilateral contracts. Its average spot selling price rose by 38 percent from P5.30 to P7.33 on recovering demand, higher fuel costs and thin power supply margins. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
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Marcelle P. Villegas - November 02, 2022
Munich Airport Helps out in Sangley Point Airport expansion
The expansion of the Sangley Point International Airport (SPIA) is a huge infrastructure project that is scheduled to be operational by 2028. The local government of Cavite province has chosen the SPIA Development Consortium last September to implement the USD11 billion project. SPIA Development Consortium representatives were delighted for being chosen for the job, but they also said that the challenges ahead are great. The project will also commence in association with South Korean and European companies. The Engineering, Procurement and Construction consortium will be headed by Cavitex Holdings and the local financier House of Investments Corporation. They will also work with Samsung C&T.
Marcelle P. Villegas - November 02, 2022
COMP Director Calls Unnumbered Bill as “Killing the Goose”
Atty Ronald Recidoro, Executive Director at Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, described the new Unnumbered Bill in mining as “Killing the goose to get to the golden eggs”. He expressed his sentiments and professional insights regarding the new mining bill during the recent Philippine Mining & Exploration Association (PMEA) Monthly Membership Meeting last 5th of September. Atty Recidoro was one of the guest speakers for this meeting.