Mining firms in Caraga eye 840 foreign shipments for 2013

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/03 August)—Mining firms are targeting to export 840 shipments of nickel ore and gold deposits from the Caraga region this year, an industry official said.

Dulmar Raagas, president of the Chamber of Mines in Caraga, said that 28 large-scale mining companies in the region are maximizing their production to extract nickel ore and gold deposits in the area.

For the first half of 2013, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Caraga reported that mining firms were able to bring out of the country 470 shipments of mineral resources from the region.

The MGB report, however, did not disclose the total volume that was sent to other countries.

But Raagas said that “one shipment alone for nickel ore would weigh at least 50,000 metric tons.”

Last year, mining firms were able to export at least 608 shipments of nickel ore to China, Japan, Australia, Canada and Korea.

Gold bullions were also sent to Switzerland, produced by Philsaga Mining Corp. in Rosario, Agusan del Sur and Greenstone Resources Corp. in Tubod, Surigao del Norte.

Greenstone Resources a few months ago stopped its mining and milling operations because of 240 tension cracks that appeared at one of its tailings storage facility last April 24. The company is working to resume the operations.

Noli Arreza, OIC regional director of MGB Caraga, said the mining sector in the region contributed at least P3 billion in revenues to the government in 2012.

The mining companies paid P1.4 billion in royalties, P681 million in excise tax and P923 million for other taxes and fees, he said.

In 2011, the mining sector in Caraga paid P2 billion in revenues.

Raagas said they expect the export shipments to further increase in 2014 as four mining companies are set to operate this year.

Two of them are Willex Mining Corp. and Libjo Mining Corp. based in Dinagat Islands. (Roel Catoto/MindaNews)