Philippines awards exploration permits to 17 mining companies
MANILA, Philippines - The government has given the go-signal for 17 companies to start exploring their mining tenements in line with a goal of boosting interest in the capital-intensive industry.
Data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) showed that since the year started, it has already approved 20 new exploration permits covering a total area of 122,000 hectares nationwide.
An exploration permit, which allows a qualified person to undertake exploration activities for mineral resources in certain areas open to mining, has a term of two years, but can be renewed.
“The industry is getting better [and this is somewhat] expected since we came from a crisis last year so there is no other way to go but up,” Leo L. Jasareno, MGB assistant director, said in an interview.
The miners are interested to explore areas deemed to be rich in chromite, copper, gold, nickel, silver, manganese and magnetite sand.
In February, MGB approved the exploration permit of Emir Mineral Resources Corp. which is interested to explore a 179-hectare (ha.) mining tenement at Homonhon Island in Eastern Samar for chromite.
This month, MGB approved the exploration permits of 16 miners.
These include OZ Metals Exploration and Development Corp. for a 1,400 has. in Davao Oriental; Kumakata Mining Co., Inc. for a 3,499-ha. mining tenement in Batangas; Affluere Minerals Corp. for 1,663 has. in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque; Egerton Gold Philippines, Inc. for a 2,451-ha. tenement in Lobo, Batangas; and MRL Gold Philippines, Inc. for 2,991 has. in several areas in Batangas.
These firms are looking for gold, copper and silver.
MGB has also approved the application of PNOC-Energy Development Corp. for the exploration of 5,632 has. in Negros Occidental; Amalgamated Iron Works, Inc. for around 10,000 has. in Surigao del Sur; and Sungtai Processing & Trading Corp. for 1,619 has. in Sta. Cruz, Zambales.
The companies will explore for nickel and chromite.
Likewise approved were exploration permits for Titan Exploration and Development Corp. covering two of its mining tenements in Abra. The mines cover 8,767 has. and 6,767 has., respectively, said to contain copper and gold.
Other mining firms given exploration permits include Alcorn Gold Resources Corp., J&M Resources Mng. & Explo. Corp., Peniel Res. Mng. Corp., T&T Res. Mining Corp., Bo Go Resources Mng. Corp., Filmenera Res. Corp. and T&D. Kim Phil., Inc.
Since 1990, the government has already approved more than 300 mineral production sharing agreements and four financial and technical assistance agreements. The latter contracts allow foreigners to own mining operations.
Such permits have been awarded to OceanaGold Phils., Inc., Sagittarius Mines, Inc., Agusan Minerals and Petroleum Corp. and FCC Mining Corp.
This year, MGB projects investments in the capital-intensive mining industry to surge to $1.428 billion from $640.22 million last year on the back of increased demand that has led to an uptick in metal prices.