Mining investments hit $956 million
- Marianne V. Go () - February 7, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Mining investments for the whole of 2010 amounted to only $955.85 million, way below the adjusted full-year target of $1.2 billion.

This was revealed over the weekend by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje as the DENR continues its review of inactive mining permits.

Leo Jasareno of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said the revised 2010 investment target of $1.2 billion was not reached due to delays in investments in such projects as the Didipio copper-gold project of OceanaGold; the Pujada nickel mine project that was supposed to be a joint venture of BHP Billiton and Asiaticus Management Corp. (Amcor); the Nonoc nickel mine project that is still being negotiated for possible takeover by the Jinchuan Group of China; the Mindoro nickel mine project of Intex Resources, and to some extent delays in the Taganito HPAL (high pressure acid leach) project of of Nickel Asia Corp. and investments in the Siana Gold project of Red 5.

Jasareno said the $955.85 million that came in last year included $547 million for Taganito’s HPAL project; $110 million for the Tampakan project of Sagittarius Mines Inc.; $47 million for the Palawan HPAL project of Coral Bay Mining Corp.; $45 million from Atlas Consolidated’s Carmen Copper Corp.; $44 million for the exploration of the Silangan mine project of Philex Mining Corp.; $31 million for Philex’s Padcal mine; $28 million for the Runruno project of Metals Exploration; $21.7 million for the Siana Gold project; $14 million for the Kingking project taken over from Benguet Corp. by the RMMI Group, and $3 million for Gold Fields Ltd.’s mining option agreement with Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co.

The DENR is reviewing all mining permits as part of its effort to crack down on inactive projects. Paje said the DENR has cancelled “close to 500” mining permits so far.

Likewise, the DENR has suspended the processing of all mining permit applications as part of the ongoing review.

The suspension order covers applications for all permits, namely exploration permit, mineral production sharing agreement, financial or technical assistance agreement as well as industrial sand and gravel permit.

The DENR has been reviewing 2,800 existing mining permits under its “use it or lose it” policy.

The DENR-MGB had been hopeful that in 2010 several big mining projects would start operations.

The projects which were expected to boost the 2010 investments figure were Ramon Ang’s Eagle Cement Corp., Merrill Crowe Corp. and Red 5 Ltd.’s Siana Gold project, Benguet Corp., Nickel Mines Inc. and Century Peak Metals Holding Corp.

ATLAS CONSOLIDATED BENGUET CORP BILLITON AND ASIATICUS MANAGEMENT CORP CARMEN COPPER CORP CENTURY PEAK METALS HOLDING CORP CORAL BAY MINING CORP CORP MILLION MINING PROJECT SIANA GOLD
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