Mining industry happy with gov't support

The Philippine mining industry is lauding the government’s “clearly expressed” support and its acknowledgement of mining as a priority sector with a high growth potential that will help the Philippine economy recover.

The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) welcomes this positive change as it kicked off the 2023 Mining Philippines International Conference and Exhibition.

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Chamber of Mines of the Philippines Chairman Mike Toledo

“The industry’s potential will grow even more over time. And the Chamber of Mines is extremely hopeful that stability is just around the bend,” said COMP Chairman Mike Toledo.

Meanwhile, he said “we have been laying the groundwork – using a deliberately phased approach – to further improve our members’ ESG performance by way of the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative.”

TSM is a set of tools and indicators to drive performance and ensure that key mining risks are managed responsibly, and best practices are used at members’ facilities.  

It was established by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) in 2004 and adopted by COMP in 2017, making the Philippines the first in Asia to subscribe to this self-assessment system that is rapidly evolving into the global standard for best practices in sustainable mining.  COMP has made compliance with TSM mandatory to all its members.

“Consequently, we are on track to meet our target of making available to the public the 2023 and 2024 externally verified self-assessment reports of our operating members,” he said.

Finally, Toledo welcomed the government’s move to rejoin the Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative.  “We in the Chamber are open to any undertaking that encourages good governance.  After all, we cherish our position at the forefront of transparency reporting in the extractives sector,” he said.

"As the world advances toward a wider energy transition to meet global carbon reduction objectives in response to climate change, mining's relevance has grown and become even more crucial,” he added. 

As minerals are an essential part of clean renewable energy technologies and the demand for minerals to produce these technologies is increasing, Toledo said the Philippines must take advantage of opportunities in the energy transition.

To do that, he said mining companies must be able to address the divided public opinion on mining.

Moreover, Toledo underscored the need to resolve other issues affecting the investment climate in the industry, including conflicting local and national laws, our country’s high power costs, a protracted permitting process, and a fiscal regime that will not only enhance our country’s competitiveness as a mining investment destination, but equally important, reflective of the government’s designation of mining from being merely a “beneficial” industry to one that is “essential” and “critical.”

“Global trends, the challenges they pose, and the positive changes being effected by our policy makers and industry players aimed at ensuring sustainability are gradually transforming mining as an area of growth, responsibility, and a future that gleams with possibility,” he concluded.