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Gov’t to sell mining assets as mine sites reopen

The Department of Finance (DOF) wants to revive the mining industry to create jobs in rural as well as generate revenues for the government’s efforts in rebuilding the economy hit by the pandemic.

At the virtual Philippine Business Conference and Expo, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that along with the revival of mining sector, the government also plans to sell all state mining assets.

Dominguez said the DOF is “very closely” working with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to “really push” for the reopening of the country’s mines.

“We are pushing the revival of the mining industry,” Dominguez said during the virtual forum. “As I keep on mentioning, the mining industry provides jobs in areas where there are no other alternative jobs.”

Describing mining as a provider of “good jobs,” Dominguez said the DOF had “a complete review” of government-owned mining assets that could be privatized.

“I have asked them [the Privatization Management Office (PMO)], to really push the revival… the privatization of Nonoc mines, Basay mines and all the other mines that are held by the government,” the finance chief said.

PMO is an agency under the DOF mandated to oversee the government’s privatization program.

Meanwhile, Nonoc Mining and Industrial Corp. is a nickel mine is Surigao island. It was reported in 2013 that diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. eyed to secure a controlling stake in the company.

Basay Mining Corp., on the other hand, is a copper mine site partly owned by the government in Basay, Negros Oriental which stopped operations in 1984.

In July, the DENR announced that it will reopen some of the closed mining sites to help the government’s struggling revenues amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the companies being eyed to be allowed resume operations are the mine sites shuttered by the late staunch environmentalist and former DENR Secretary Regina Paz Lopez.

Environment Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna said the DENR was reviewing the operations of select suspended mining companies to see if they can operate again.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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