Solon backs new mining policy

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A senior member of the House of Representatives favors the national government’s plan to establish a fresh and highly progressive mining policy. We are hoping that the new policy will reinforce environmental protectiowhat is the standard for crusher machinen and ensure more inclusive economic and employment growth, particularly for communities around mine sites,” said Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas.

We have to secure our fragile environment at all times,” he said, adding that mining communities should not only be kept safe, but should also benefit to the greatest extent from the exploitation of mineral resources in their areas. Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje earlier said that President Benigno S. Aquino III is set to sign a new mining policy in the next few days.

Meanwhile, Gullas cited Philex Mining and Nickel Asia, which have emerged as the country’s top taxpayers in the mining sector. Bureau of Internal Revenue records show that 54-year-old Philex paid P1.804 billion in taxes on gross sales of P12.673 billion, making it the industry’s biggest taxpayer, and the ninth-largest among all corporate taxpayers in the country.

Next to Philex, 37-year-old Nickel Asia’s four subsidiaries - Rio Tuba Nickel Mining, Taganito Mining, Cagdianao Mining, and Hinatuan Mining, paid a combined P1.149 billion in taxes on cumulative gross sales of P8.293 billion.

All figures were based on the BIR’s Top 500 Non-Individual Taxpayers for Taxable Year 2010. Chaired by businessman Manuel Pangilinan, Philex operates the Padcal mine in Benguet. Philex, which is the country’s largest mining entity by gross revenue, produced 37.955 pounds of copper and 140,113 ounces of gold in 2011.

On the other hand, partly-owned by Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining and chaired by businessman Manuel Zamora, Nickel Asia is the country’s biggest producer of nickel ore, and the world’s fifth-largest. Nickel Asia churned out 10.4 million wet metric tons of nickel ore in 2011 from four mines in Mindanao and Palawan. Both Philex and Nickel Asia are publicly traded companies. Their shares of stock are traded on the Philippine Stock Exchange.

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