Recent figures show the mining industry in the Philippines is failing to match its revenue targets. The reasons for this include the fact that an increasing number of local government units are looking to ban mining or impose a moratorium on it. Zamboanga del Norte – the province in which notorious Canadian company, TVI Pacific, operates – is the latest to declare such an interest.
The fiercest arguments around this issue are in South Cotabato, where a ban is supposedly already in place as part of an environmental code passed by the provincial government. However, questions have been raised as to how legal it is (whether it trumps the 1995 national mining code or vice versa). If a ban were imposed in the province it would knock out Xstrata‘s Tampakan project – potentially the biggest mine in the country. Nonetheless the London- and Toronto-listed company is pushing the enterprise forward regardless. Xstrata was recently backed in this by visiting diplomats from the UK, Switzerland and Australia (where Xstrata’s copper unit is based).