The Philippines may consider banning exports of unprocessed minerals in an effort to promote value addition in the mining sector, a senior environment official said on Friday.
The Philippines is the world’s top nickel ore supplier, shipping nearly all of its output to China. Previous governments have supported calls to spur domestic processing of raw minerals but earlier efforts in Congress to enact appropriate laws have failed to take off.
“It’s one of the things we’re considering for any mine that we think should remain operating,” Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Maria Paz Luna told reporters. “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,” she said.
Luna spoke after a meeting with other officials of the government’s Mining Industry Coordinating Council tasked to conduct a second review of 28 mines ordered closed or suspended by the environment ministry.
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