The Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera (MGB-CAR) reported that metallic output total value has slightly rose to four percent in 2022 which is equivalent to an estimated P14.2 billion as
compared to P13.603 billion in the previous year (2021). MGB-CAR Regional Director Fay Apil made the disclosure during Thursday’s press conference on the 2022 Economic Performance of the
region hosted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)- Cordillera.

Apil said the metallic output mostly came from the four large scale mines operating in Benguet namely— Philex Mines, Benguet Corp. Lepanto Mines and Itogon-Suyoc Resources, Inc. “The upbeat performance was achieved despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the ongoing
Ukraine-Russia conflict affecting key markets.. particularly energy such as oil and gas,” Apil said.
She added that those events disrupted the supply of major commodities, the official noted the increase of value was mainly the increase of metal prices.

However, Apil said that the region’s gold production slightly slipped from 1.29 percent. The decline of production was offset by the increase price of metal, the official quipped. Silver and copper
production also decreased both in volume and value, affected by the low price in the world market.
In 2022, a total of P478 million excise tax was paid by the four large mining companies. The Province of Benguet had a share of P32.250 million while Mankayan had a share of P13.733 million.
On the labor front, Apil said that workforce in the region’s mining industry also dipped in 2022 with 6,382 compared to 6,586 (2021).

The MGB official pointed that some of the challenges besetting the country’s mineral development include -high cost of energy-fuel; concern on peace and order especially in the remote areas,limited support to infrastructure going to mineralized areas like roads, power , rails, communication technology; low acceptability of mining as a major source of livelihood and revenue. Also “environmental footprints” and the concern of acceptability of mining policies of the current administration.

Despite these challenges, Apil stressed that their agency is focused on its slogan ..mining as pro-environment and propeople in enhancing wealth creation improve quality of life. Apil said out of the total 1.829 million hectares (total land area) for mining only 18,905 ha. with approved mining tenements or equivalent to 1.02 percent in terms of area coverage in the whole region. As for mineral development projects in the region: four metallic mines (Philex Mines, Lepanto Mines,
Benguet Corp, Itpogon -Suyoc Resources ; 11 Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA)—most of which are in exploration stages; one mineral processing permit ; three industrial sand and gravel permit (over five ha.); 73 commercial quarrying (LGU issued permits); and 13 declared Minahang Bayan (MB), “unfortunately” two were issued small-scale mining contracts.

Primo Agatep/ABN

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