Mining firms invest millions of dollars

A mining company in early stages of developing its mine site in Mindanao, is pouring in an average of $3 million a month, while another firm is cashing in $20 million each month.

A foreign mining executive revealed his company alone is ready to sink in up to $5 billion in cash to put on full operation a gold mine in Surigao.

These were just a few sample cases presented by the mining group to prove they are out to play a major role not only at becoming again a force to reckon with in the export sector, but as a main creator of jobs and wealth for the country.

Their recommendations were put forward in a recent workshop at the Asian Institute of Management to strengthen the “Arangkada Reform Package” submitted by the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines last year to the Aquino government and Congress.

The mining committee of Arangkada listed 33 issues that need to be hurdled before the domestic mining industry would fly.

The Philippines is known to be one of five most mineralized countries in the world with huge deposits of gold, silver, copper, nickel, chrome, manganese and other precious and industrial metals that remain largely untapped.

The group is seeking a clear statement on the government’s policy and programs for the mining industry’s development.

On the level of decision-making, it recommended the streamlining of the system of issuing exploration permits, purging the list of claims those that have long been inactive and give those claims to exploration companies that have the money and the guts to stake on finding out if the prospects contain metals worth extracting.

Another high priority is for the government to speed up the processing of environment clearance certificates, known to take years in the past and a major temptation to corruption at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Another recommendation was for the framing of a policy that will increase the percentage of direct mining and milling costs for community development from 1 to 1.5 percent.