Gold Exports to Recover with High Prices

Manila Bulletin, April 13, 2008 | Go to article overview

Gold Exports to Recover with High Prices


Gold is likely to recover as a major Philippine export fuelled by the precious metal's record-breaking prices that now threaten to breach the $ 1,000 mark an ounce.

At present prices, mining, even through its most expensive method of underground extraction, has turned viable again.

The main drawback is, the gestation period between getting an exploration permit to determining if minerals in a mining claim are in commercial quantity, to actual commercial production of gold, silver, copper, or nickel -- takes at least five years, sometimes decades.

In the case of the Philippines, precious and industrial metals extracted from local mining areas, may crash into the list of top Philippine export products this year and stay there. That would be a new record for an industry that went to sleep for close to a quarter of a century.

Gold export did a surprise appearance into the top 10 exports in January only because high prices had bloated revenues with no dramatic increase in volume yet. But old mines are getting expanded or revived while new operations begin processing or shipping out ores.

Philex Mining Corporation, one of two survivors of the mining crash of the mid nineteen eighties, had extended the productive life of its Padcal mining area near Baguio to the year 2014 and has started to cash in.

Lepanto Mines in the town of Mankayan in Benguet which now extracts well-known reserves from its Victoria and Teresa gold mining areas.

Under a new owner, the Anvil Mining Limited, the old Itogon-Suyoc Mines also in Benguet, resumes commercial production also this year.

Based on a recently published Philippine Mining Resource Book, a publication meant to help investors navigate the labyrinthine trail of getting into the mining industry, the Philippines' 21st century mining region will no longer be the Cordilleras.

Only one new mining project, the Didipio Copper Project in the province of Nueva Vizcaya, may take off soon if the locals will allow it.

This time around, the Philippines mining center shifts to the mineral rich mountains of Northern and Central Mindanao, partricularly Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, parts of the Cotabato provinces and Davao and the gold-rich Compostela Valley. …

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