‘Golden’ era gone, says mining chiefBy Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines used to be among the top 10 gold and copper-gold producing countries in the world. Not any more, according to the head of the government mines division.
Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Director Leo Jasareno, at a lunch with the mining industry on Friday, said anti-mining sentiments were taking their toll on the country’s gold production, which plummeted 65 percent this year despite rising metal prices.
“The Philippines is no longer in the top 10 gold producing countries nor in the top 10 copper-gold producing countries,” he said but added that nickel production remained robust. The Philippines is now the second largest nickel producer in the world, he reported.
Jasareno lamented that “anti-mining sentiment” in the Philippines has affected the growth of the industry. He noted that about 40 provinces have signed laws restricting mining activities. Legitimate mining companies were also haled to the Supreme Court, he added.
“The anti-mining advocacy is bringing us down…it is hurting the country,” the MGB chief said.
The antimining sentiment was due to lack of information on sustainable mining, he said. Communities also received little or no revenues from mining firms in their areas.
The mining industry was also at fault, he said. For years, they have abandoned mines and flouted environmental laws in the Philippines, Jasareno added.