Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Atienza keynotes Asia Mining Congress in Singapore

Manila Bulletin

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza will encourage more mining investments in the Philippines when he meets with top ranking executives of giant mining companies from all over the world who will gather in Singapore this week for the five-day Asia Mining Congress.

Atienza will deliver a keynote speech during the event and is expected to talk on key developments in the industry, including the recent policy reforms and the headways made by the government since launching its revitalization program for mining.

He is also expected to highlight the initiatives made by his administration at the DENR in addressing local mining issues through more active stakeholder engagements.

Attending the conference are ranking state mining and environment ministers from Asean region, mining CEOs, global investors and other key industry stakeholders.

Atienza, who left yesterday for Singapore, leads a delegation composed of government and private sector officials. The Mining Congress is Asia’s biggest annual conference which showcases the Philippines and nine other mineralrich countries in the region, namely China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Papua New Guinea, as some of the best mining destinations in world.

The Philippines has identified mining as one of the critical sectors in stimulating economic growth and development. It has projected the industry to generate US$ 10 billion in investments by 2010, and expects the year 2008 to be the banner year for the industry as seven more projects come on stream by the end of the year.

Since launching the revitalization program for mining in 2004, the government has generated some US$ 1.4 billion in investments and created more than 6,500 jobs from 63 mining and exploration projects in the country.

Joining Atienza from the government are Minerals Development Council Executive Director Ramon Paje, and Mines and Geosciences Bureau Director Horacio C. Ramos.

The private sector is headed by Chamber of Mines of the Philippines and ASEAN Federation of Mining Associations president Philip Romualdez, who is also presenting regulatory updates for foreign mining companies looking to operate in the Philippines. Also attending and delivering presentations on their respective experiences in the Philippines are top executives of Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), Indophil Resources, Royalco, OceanaGold, and CGA Resources.

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