Gov't to Offer 37 Projects at International Mining Confab

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Byline: MELODY M. AGUIBA

An international mining conference in Manila next week is anticipated to lure investors to seriously look into 37 prospective exploration projects as exploration is hoped to sustain on the long-term an expected renewed mining activity in the Philippines.

Horacio C. Ramos, Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB), said the Philippines must get a significant share of the worlds limited exploration fund.

"Exploration is the life blood of the mining industry. Without exploration, there wont be any discovery of new mines," he said. "Historically, funds for exploration come from foreign investors, and the Philippines has to compete with other countries to attract this fund."

Ramos said in 1997, while Indonesia and Chile seized some $230 million in exploration fund, the Philippines only had a share of $50 million even if the country is widely recognized for being endowed with mineral resources.

"It has demonstrated its very rich potential for copper, gold, nickel, chromite and other metallic minerals," he said.

The 37 mining exploration activities which are now under a Ten-Point legacy of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is estimated to cost $92 million. New investors can enter into an operating agreement with existing contractors who usually welcome partners as exploration is usually a high-risk, high-capital venture.

The sites in Cordillera Autonomous Region are Conner Copper-Gold Project in Kalinga Apayao currently held by Anglo Americans Cordillera Exploration Co; Camp 3 Gold Project, Tuba, Benguet, Northern Luzon Exploration and Mining Co. …