Atienza encourages more investments in mineral processing
- Marianne V. Go () - August 4, 2008 - 12:00am

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose L. Atienza is encouraging more investments in mineral processing in response to suggestions from the local mining sector that the Philippines must now move to more value-added processing instead of just relying on mineral extraction.

In his weekly press conference, Atienza said that a number of potential investors have already expressed interest in putting up processing plants.

However, Atienza said, potential investors in mineral processing plants want assurance that they will have adequate supply.

“Potential investors are eager to pour in more money, but they want a guarantee of adequate supply (of ores),” Atienza said.

Most of the investor interest, Atienza said, is in iron ore processing.

Veterans in the local mining sector have noted the need for the Philippine mining sector to shift to more value-added mineral processing in the face of rising cost of transport of raw or unprocessed ores.

Traditional buyers such as China, it was pointed out, are now looking for more processed minerals instead of relying on raw or unprocessed ores.

The bulk of raw unprocessed ores is water.

With the unprecedented rise in crude oil prices, it has become more costly for countries like China to transport the raw or unprocessed ores.

The Philippines, in fact, has already been adversely hit by the drop in demand for raw unprocessed ores.

Several small mining firms have been forced to shut down because their buyers have disappeared.

However, it is calculated that a minimum investment of P20 million is needed to put up a mineral processing plant.

ATIENZA COUNTRY ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES SECRETARY JOSE L ORES PLACE PROCESSING REGION
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