Mining Operations May Continue says Finance Secretary
To raise additional income, the Philippine government is pushing for the continuation of operations of idle state-owned mining projects. This, according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, who said that this also includes the sale of the Nonoc nickel assets.
As the government looks for ways to increase funds during this most difficult time, the Privatization and Management Office, under the agency of Dominguez, has reviewed assets that can be sold. Dominguez added that he is working closely with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to bring back the following projects - the Basay copper mine in Central Negros Oriental province, the Nonoc nickel project in Surigao del Norte province, as well as other mining assets.
In a statement at a business forum. Dominguez said, “We are pushing the revival of the mining industry. The mining industry provides jobs in areas where there are no other alternative jobs.”
The Nonoc mine has ceased operations since 2011 because of a looming debt of $264 million - on top of taxes - to the government.
Home to more than two dozen nickel mines, the Philippines is a major supplier to China and its mostly low-grade ores are utilized to produce nickel pig iron, one of the raw materials for stainless steel.