Philippines may ban unprocessed minerals export


The Philippines is considering imposing a ban on unprocessed mineral exports to encourage value addition in the domestic mining sector.

The country is one of the largest nickel-ore suppliers in the world and ships nearly all its production to China, reported Reuters.

Earlier, multiple attempts were taken by the government to promote domestic processing of raw materials but country's the legislative body was unable to enact proper legislation.

Philippines Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Maria Paz Luna was quoted by the news agency as saying: “In the long-term, that will help our economy because that will increase the value of the products.

"It is one of the options that has to be considered not only by the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) but by the entire government.”

"In the long-term, that will help our economy because that will increase the value of the products."

She was speaking to journalists after the meeting with Mining Industry Coordinating Council.

The council is conducting a second review of 28 mines, which were previously ordered to close or suspend all operations by the Environment Ministry to protect watersheds.

In August last year, the proposal to prohibit ore exports was revived to encourage miners to invest in domestic processing plants. Currently, The Philippines has four plants, with two for nickel.

Philippines Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez told Reuters that this second review which was announced last month will continue even if the appointment of Environment Secretary Regina Lopez is not confirmed by Congress.