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Business

RP mining sector may hit $14-billion investment goal by 2013

- Marianne V. Go -

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is optimistic the Philippine mining sector would reach its $14-billion investment target by 2013, following renewed interest from investors. 

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Horacio C. Ramos said the slightly higher investment target may be achieved following indications from proponents of the Tampakan copper-gold mine project that they may increase their planned investments in the project. 

Likewise, Ramos said the DENR is also expecting additional investments which could lift up the DENR’s 2013 target from its earlier projection of $13.49 billion. 

Swiss-based mining firm Xstrata and Australia’s Indophil last week submitted a $7.4 million feasibility study conducted by engineering firm Bechtel for Sagitarrius Mines Inc.’s (SMI) Tampakan project to the DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). 

Based on estimates for the Tampakan project, the development cost would be around $5.2 billion. 

However, Ramos had revealed to The STAR that following a meeting with SMI officials, they had indicated possible additional investments. 

Ramos, however, did not reveal how much more SMI would likely spend to develop the long-delayed Tampakan copper-gold project.

Several priority mining projects the DENR-MGB had been banking on have been delayed or saddled with financing problems or opposition from local government and indigenous communities.

One of these projects is the Didipio copper-gold project of Oceana Gold which ran into some opposition from the local community and has also been seeking additional financing for the project.

Additionally, other projects experiencing delays are those of Intex and Benguet Corp.’s King-King mine.

Fresh from his participation in the Asia Mining Congress in Singapore last month, y Ramos had revealed possible interest from South African mining firm Harmony and Japan’s JOGMEC in the Didipio project.

ASIA MINING CONGRESS

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES

DIDIPIO

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES SECRETARY HORACIO C

HARMONY AND JAPAN

INTEX AND BENGUET CORP

MINES AND GEOSCIENCES BUREAU

OCEANA GOLD

PROJECT

RAMOS

TAMPAKAN

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