Mining investments seen growing 17.6%

Published by rudy Date posted on April 20, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) projects a total of $606.86 million in investments in priority mining projects this year, 17.6 percent higher than the $515.86 million invested last year.

Next year, the DENR-MGB is projecting an ever bigger inflow of up to $2.488 billion as several priority projects move from the exploration and feasibility stage to construction and development.

Based on data gathered by The STAR, the Rapu-Rapu polymetallic is scheduled to invest $30 million for its continued operation and expansion this year.

In addition, some $105.99 million is projected to come in this year for the continued construction and development of at least 10 priority mining projects such as the Carmen copper project with an investment of $10 million; $21.7 million for the Palawan high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) nickel project line and $61.21 million for the Didipio copper-gold project.

Philsaga’s gold expansion project and the Acoje nickel heap leach projects are also scheduled to receive $10 million in additional investment this year for continued construction and development, while the Iligan ferronickel smelter plant and Manticao ferronickel smelter plant of the Platinum Group will get $6.5 million and $6.58 million in additional funds for construction and development this year.

A total of $428.8 million is projected to be invested for the feasibility/financing of such projects as the Tampakan copper project, $50 million; the Surigao Sumitomo HPAL project, $75 million; the Boyongan copper project, $65.8 million; the Itogon gold project, $10 million; the Nonoc nickel project, $50 million; the Mindoro nickel project, $20 million; the Akle cement project, $60 million; the Runruno gold project, $18 million; the Far Southeast gold project, $60 million and the King-King copper-gold project, $20 million.

For projects in the advanced exploration stage, the MGB is projecting $29 million in additional investments this year.

A separate $9 million is expected to come in for three projects -the Batong Buhay copper-gold project; the Diwalwal Direct State Development project and the Amacan copper-gold project — that the government is trying to privatize.

Also, a minimal $4.07 million is projected to be spent on exploration for priority projects.–Marianne V. Go, Philippine Star

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