BAGUIO CITY – An official of the South Africa Department of Mineral Resources declared African-owned mining companies operating in the different parts of the archipelago will not pull out their investments in the country’s lucrative mineral industry amidst the uncertainty created by the government’s mishandling of the multi-sectoral audit done on their operations.
Jeffry Oliphant, Deputy Minister of the South Africa Department of Mineral Resources, claimed the African-owned Far Southeast Goldfields Resources Inc. is considered in their country as a credible mining company which is brave in infusing investments inside and outside their country, thus, it will not abandon their existing mining projects in the country.
Far Southeast Goldfields Resources Inc. invested in the operation of the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company for the exploration and development of the company’s Victoria gold project in Mankayan, Benguet.
“We just want certainty for the sustained operations of our company in their pending projects. Uncertainty in the country’s mineral industry will definitely affect foreign investments in the rapidly growing industry that is why it is now up to the government to provide foreign investors with certainty so that there be liquidity in the infusion of fresh capital in the industry,” Oliphant stressed.
Oliphant claimed government must set the standards of the industry to help stabilize the contribution of mining to the country’s economy because, in South Africa, the contribution of mining to their economy is roughly 70 percent.
However, in the Philippines, mining contributes only 0.7 percent to the gross domestic product which is considered by many sectors as insignificant but host and neighboring communities consider mining as a key economic driver in their respective areas.
Oliphant said he visited the country to look into areas where African mining companies could help by investing in mineral explorations and the development of mine sites that will help in maximizing the potentials of the country’s mineral industry.
Based on previous studies, the country has over 9 million hectares of ore deposits spread all over the archipelago but only 1.5 percent of the said deposits is being actually being exploited, thus, the contribution of mining to the country’s gross domestic product is below 1 percent.
The South Africa official underscored mining in their country is closely being monitored by regulating agencies to make sure that mining companies adhere to the internationally-accepted rules and regulations of responsible mining primarily geared towards the preservation and protection of the environment and the provision of sustainable livelihood to the people relying on mining as their main source of income.
He added there are mining companies in their country wanting to partner with responsible mining companies operating in the country to explore and develop potential mineral ore deposits that will perk up the contribution of mining to the economy and make its contributions more significant compared to the prevailing situation.