Thursday, 10 November 2011

Mining group cites industry gains: jobs, $1b investments

Manila Standard

Baguio City—With their combined investments exceeding $1 billion,mining companies have generated more than 120,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to a top official of the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association.

“The prevailing high metal prices coupled with the huge demand and abundant mineral production is keeping the country’s mining industry alive which is also boosting economic growth. We want to take advantage of the situation so that we will be able to achieve our desired growth,” Louie Sarmiento, PMSEA president, said on Tuesday during ceremonies to mark the Mining Safety Week celebrations in Baguio City.

The full operation of Masbate Gold in Bicol, Carmen Copper in Cebu, the Silangan project of Philex Mining Corporation in Mindanao and the dozens of exploration activities, the country will see a robust growth of the mining industry.

Despite the advancement in technology, Sarmiento pointed out that investors in the country’s mining industry continue to create jobs in host communities.

“Because of the huge demand for copper and gold in the world market, large-scale mining companies have doubled their production this year,” he said. “That also translated to higher income and more money circulated in our economy,” he stressed. Over 1,000 mining industry stakeholders gather in the mountain resort city to attend the 58th staging of the Mine Safety and Environment Week led by the 200-member PMSEA that kicked off Tuesday with a tree planting activity.

“ The tree-planting activity is unique and special because we planted endemic species and will help provide a lush greenery for the city’s Botannical Grdens,” he said.

Among the endemic tree species are alstonia scholaris, known as Dita flowering tree, and the Benguet pine which thrives in the Cordilleras.

Sarmiento said that more investments in the mineral industry are expected to be available next year once other large-scale mines operate in full blast. Dexter See

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