African mine firm won’t pull out of Lepanto project

>> Saturday, December 24, 2016

BAGUIO CITY—South African-owned mining companies operating in the Philippines will not pull out their investments in the country amid uncertainty over the Duterte administration’s audit of over 40 mining firms nationwide.
Godfrey Oliphant, deputy minister of the South Africa Department of Mineral Resources, said one of their companies, Far Southeast Gold Resources Inc., is considered in South Africa as a credible mining company “which is brave in infusing investments inside and outside their country.”
FSGRI entered into a joint venture with Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. for the exploration and development of the company’s Victoria gold project in Mankayan, Benguet.
“We just want certainty for the sustained operations of our company in their pending projects,” Oliphant said on the sidelines of the Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference at Camp John Hay here.
“Uncertainty in the country’s mineral industry will definitely affect foreign investments in the rapidly growing industry, that is why it is now up to the government to provide foreign investors with certainty so that there be liquidity in the infusion of fresh capital in the industry,” the South African minister added.
Oliphant said the Phl government must set the standards of the mining industry to help stabilize the contribution of mining to the economy, adding that in South Africa, the contribution of mining to their economy is roughly 70 percent.
However, in the Philippines, mining contributes only 0.7 percent to the gross domestic product, which is considered by many sectors as insignificant.

However, host and neighboring communities consider mining as a key economic driver in their respective areas.


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