The Philippine Nickel Industry Association expects the mining industry to maintain its growth trajectory following the government’s move to lift the suspension on new mining agreements, a top executive said Friday.
“We are hopeful to maintain this growth momentum especially after the issuance of EO 130 that lifted the ban on new mineral agreement as it will pave the way for new mining projects and entice more investments in the mining industry,” PNIA president Dante Bravo said in a statement.
Bravo attributed the significant growth in the mining industry largely to higher nickel prices and the robust demand from China’s stainless steel producers.
Citing data from Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Bravo said nickel mining firms supplied half of the 2020 mineral production and 31 percent of total production in the first quarter.
“Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s nickel industry remained resilient with a reported increase of 4 percent in production growth and 22 percent in export value citing a comparison of year-on-year data for 2019 and 2020 as posted in a recent report of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau,” Bravo said.
The MGB data also showed that the industry’s total direct shipping ore production was P38.86 billion in 2020, higher than P31.79 billion in 2019.
Data also revealed that in 2020, the nickel industry produced 27.17 million dry metric tons of nickel ore, higher than the previous year’s total production of 26.21 million DMT.
Bravo said the PNIA has collective commitment to industry sustainability efforts. He said the group would release before the end of the year their performance report on alignment with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
PNIA members jointly spent over P167 million on their social development and management programs in 2020, P49 million on COVID-19 assistance, and P532 million on their environmental protection and enhancement programs. They also planted over 7 million trees.
“PNIA members are equally committed to ensuring sustainability in our communities through community and environmental preservation efforts. The projects we implement for the community and the environment are as equally important to PNIA members as their operations,” Bravo said.