SHANGHAI, Jul. 31 (SMM) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Jul. 24 said he wanted to stop exporting mineral resources and might close the mining sector completely and tax miners "to death" if damage to the environment persisted.
"The protection of the environment must be a priority ahead of mining and all other activities that have adverse impact," Duterte said in the State of the Nation address, his second since taking office in June 2016. "This policy is non-negotiable."
Regina Lopez, Duterte's first appointment as Environment Secretary, was dismissed in May by the Philippine Congress, but a 10-month crackdown on the industry she led, closed and suspended 26 of 41 mines in the country.
Lopez also imposed a ban on open-pit mining and demanded a bigger government share in mining revenues, but her orders are now under review, according to a senior official of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.
July and August are a traditionally peak period of ore shipments in the Philippines, but agents and traders of Philippine ore hold back sales due to optimistic outlook, SMM learns. Philippine ore shipments are estimated to grow in July and August on a monthly basis, but may drop on a yearly basis due to low sales interest and president’s recent comments, SMM foresees.
But, nickel ore shipments from Indonesia are expected to grow in August. PT Ceria Nugraha Indotama, the third being permitted to export nickel ore, is expected to export goods from mid or late August gradually. The company has a total export quota of 2.30 million tonnes.
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