Investments in the mining sector of the Philippines are expected to reach $17.3bn by 2016, according to The Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The increased efforts of the government to streamline the permitting process for the industry and elevate the country as an investment area for minerals development are expected to bring in investment inflows.

The government is reviewing the possibility of modifying the existing ‘first come, first serve’ system of accepting mining applications to a public bidding system.

The DENR said that the country has drawn $560m in investments from priority development and exploration projects since July 2010, and official mining investments reached $2.9bn as of May 2010 since 2004.

As part of investment promotional activities for the sector, the DENR has held the Mining Philippines 2010, Forum of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries, and the China-ASEAN Business Summit.