Last week, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte lifted a 9-year moratorium of new mining permits. The move is expected to speed up some already existing applications. The executive order also includes directions to the environment ministry to stringently implement environmental and safety restrictions as part of the mining operations.
Data by the World Mining Congresses shows that while the moratorium – implemented by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2012 – momentarily suspended the growth of Filipino mining output, the amount of mineral raw materials excavated in the Philippines already grew again from 2016 onwards.
The increase was mainly driven by coal, but also sulfur. The former was boosted in the country to meet surging energy demand in the second half of the last decade.
While data is only available until 2018, nickel extraction potentially also grew in the last couple of years after demand from China made excavating the mineral more lucrative. The current government’s hardline approach to mining had already softened somewhat in 2019 when Duterte appealed to nickel miners to work together on growth, albeit within environmental restrictions. An export ban of nickel from Indonesia – the world’s biggest producer – was a key factor making nickel more in demand and opened up a window of opportunity for the global number two producer, the Philippines.
Stops to mining in the Philippines have been frequent, including under Duterte, because of environmental and safety concerns. The Filipino President had previously upheld a ban of open-pit mining and recently halted nickel mining at an island in the Tawi-Tawi province over concerns of environmental destruction.
This chart shows mineral raw materials excavated in the Philippines 2008-2018 (in million metric tons).
Wall Street Examiner Disclosure: Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler, unless authored by me, under my byline. I curate posts here on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. No endorsement of such content is either expressed or implied by posting the content. All items published here are matters of information and opinion, and are neither intended as, nor should you construe it as, individual investment advice. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of information providers, or considering any investment.