DOF chief banks on mining for continuous economic recovery and expansion

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said that the mining industry is a potential source of sustained economic growth as he underscored the benefit of mobilizing investments for mine development.

“The mining industry holds the greatest potential to be a key driver in our economic recovery and long-term growth, especially now that world metal prices are high. The Philippines, after all, is one of the world’s most richly endowed countries in terms of mineral resources,” said Secretary Diokno on Wednesday at the listing of Philex Mining Corporation’s (Philex) common shares in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

Philex is mobilizing investments for the development of its Silangan underground copper-gold mine in Surigao del Norte.

In a disclosure to the PSE, the company said it is offering a maximum of 842 million common shares at the rate of one offer share for every 5.8674 shares owned for P3.15 each to raise a total of P2.652 billion new equity.

The Stocks Rights Offering (SRO) period started on July 12, 2022 and ended July 25, 2022.

The Silangan project, considered one of the biggest copper-gold mines in the country, is planned to be mined in two phases. The first phase has a mineable ore reserve of 81 million metric tonnes which will be mined for 22 years at a rate of 4 million tonnes per year.

The mine is targeted to commence commercial operations in the first quarter of 2025.

Secretary Diokno said that Philex’ SRO listing demonstrates the mining industry’s confidence in the country’s promising economic growth prospects.

He said that the offering means more jobs will be created, local economies will be reinvigorated, and additional revenues will be contributed to the government.

The Department of Finance (DOF) estimates that the project will generate around P8.5 billion in excise taxes alone for its entire mine life.

Secretary Diokno said that the listing sends a strong signal to the mining industry that the country’s capital markets are viable instruments for fast tracking the development of large mining projects.

He said that the Marcos administration is committed to continue creating an enabling environment for mining activities to flourish in the country as he looks forward to similar listings in the future.

“We recognize that apart from boosting local development, mining is a strong magnet for investments that can propel our economy into a higher growth trajectory,” said Secretary Diokno.

In turn, Secretary Diokno said that the government expects the mining industry to strictly adhere to responsible and sustainable mining practices.

He said that the mining industry should strike a balance between protecting the environment, uplifting local communities, and supporting the government’s socioeconomic agenda.

“This is a non-negotiable condition so we can guarantee the sustainability of the industry and the strong economic growth of its host communities,” said Secretary Diokno.

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