The Philippines are blessed with mineral and metal deposits due to its geology. The islands are on the top of underwater mountains that were formed due to the molten rocks from the interior of earth, which created the ideal setting of a variety of valuable minerals.
Placer and lode gold deposits are found throughout the country, the districts of Baguio and Paracale in Luzon and Masara, Surigao and Masbate in Mindanao are the principal producers of gold.
Benguet is the oldest and first mining company established in 1903. Extensive mining of gold and nickel is done at the Acupan which started in 1927.
International attention was focused on the town of Hinobaan in 1982, when gold nuggets were found in its river, which aroused the interest of people and hundreds of miles were dug all over by Filipinos and by miners from neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia.
Insights of mining companies in the Philippines
There are thirty five commercial-scale mine companies that are active in the country. Oceana Gold, an Australian company, employ around 1800 people for extracting copper and gold from the mines of Didipio on the Luzon Island, north of Manila. A local company, Philex Mining is carrying on its mining activities aggressively in Mindanao. RTG mining is focusing on mining of high grade gold/magnate and copper at Mabilo project and carrying on exploration activities in respect of Bunawan Project.
Gold Mining – National Priority of the Philippines
The Philippines is well aware of its gold and other valuable metals that are sitting under its ground and would like to carry on its mining activities by finding ways and means to overcome the land rights and environmental issues.
The country views its untapped second largest gold reserve in the world as a breather that could help the government to sustain its annual economic growth. In 2010, the government announced its interest in focusing on gold mining as its national priority.
Most market strategist forecast that mining would be the country’s booming sector, particularly in the wake of foreign investment expected to pour in the county. Huge foreign investing companies are needed by the government, as the boom is expected to open up a number of job and industrial opportunities for the local people.
A number of foreign investors are interested in mining in the Philippines due to the positive responses of the government through its executive orders that would take care of the environmental issues related to mining activities. Investors in mining are positive about the one-stop permitting process for miners which are considered to be more transparent about contracts to avoid legal messes in the future.
Also Read: Gold Mining and Prospecting in Indonesia
Interesting facts about Philippines Gold Mining Industry
Gold Deposits (Placer and Lode) occur in about 73 provinces of the Philippines. Paracale (Luzon) and Baguio are the major districts that produce gold deposits along with Masara (Mindanao), Masbate and Surigao. In 2003, production of gold was about 37,800 kilograms.
Agata is said to be a project that is highly mineralized. It is also the site for ongoing and historical gold mining. It is a fact that the Philippines rank as the world’s second largest in gold reserves worth an estimated $1.4 trillion in the mining sector.
In the year 2014, Philippines was only the world’s 20th largest gold producer, producing about 40 tons. So an expansion of the gold mining sector within the country will most certainly cause a rise in global ranks, as it has one of the richest untapped deposits on Earth.