GMA News reported that a group of local nickel producers is urging the government to remove barriers that prevent the ferro nickel industry from pursuing more investments into higher-value ore processing.
According to Philippine Nickel Industry Association chairperson Ms Caroline Tanchay, the government should pay attention to the difficulties encountered by mining companies in putting up processing facilities because of “constant” opposition by non-government organizations and environmentalists.
She said that “We cannot even get a permit to put up a plant because of all these NGOs blocking us. And the government is listening to the NGOs so how can we process?”
Listed mining holding firm Oriental Peninsula Resources Group Inc where Tanchay is president and chairman of the board, had earlier said it is investing USD 10 million for the construction of a ferro-nickel processing plant.
She added that “The government should discern if these groups are telling the truth because our energy is drained trying to deal with them.”
ORE ships nickel ore to China, Australia, and Japan which are processed by buyers into stainless steel.
Ms Tanchay also said the government should prioritize the grating of tax incentives to Filipino miners who want to engage in ore processing and for mining regulatory agencies to help companies realize the incentives.
She said that “The incentive should [not only be] be implemented not on mining but on processing noting that although an incentive mechanism is already in place for the mining industry, not enough attention is given to processing.”