The value of metallic mineral production in the Philippines dropped 16%, from US$2.83 billion in 2011 to US$2.36 billion in 2012.
This was primarily due to the 96% reduction in gold sales from small-scale miners to the central bank. Nickel production continued to increase with sales to China for the lower-grade nickel high iron as feed in the production of nickel pig iron (NPI).
President Aquino raised the hopes of the mining industry when he issued Executive Order No79 almost two years ago. The expectation then was that the president had crafted a mining policy that would lead to a permanent set of rules that will guide the industry towards growth.
However, the executive order has not yet been completed and the more important goal of instituting fiscal reforms, such as higher taxes, is still awaiting legislation. In the meantime, there is a moratorium on approvals of new mining permits until the law is passed.
For the period 2012 to 2016, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) revised its projections and reported that mining investments will drop by US$8 billion for the remaining term of the administration.
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