Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno (File photo)

MANILA – Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said 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,” he said 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 PHP3.15 each to raise a total of PHP2.652 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.
 
Diokno said Philex’ SRO listing demonstrates the mining industry’s confidence in the country’s promising economic growth prospects.  
 
He said 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 PHP8.5 billion in excise taxes alone for its entire mine life.
 
Diokno said 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 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,” he added.
 
Diokno said the government expects the mining industry to strictly adhere to responsible and sustainable mining practices. 
 
He said 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,” he said. (PR)