By Kris Crismundo
MANILA – Twelve business persons from different mining companies in the Philippines will be seeking partners in Australia, according to Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Yu PSM.
In an interview with the Philippine News Agency Wednesday, Yu said the business delegation will be joining the inaugural flight of Philippine Airlines from Manila to Perth.
“This Sunday night, I’ll be taking a group of Filipino business delegates to Perth, Western Australia on a mining mission along with my senior trade commissioner,” Yu said. “Mining is definitely one that we would be interested in exploring further and already have fantastic Australian companies doing really good sustainable mining in the Philippines, like OceanaGold.”
She said Department of Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. and Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna will also be participating in the mining mission in Australia, as the mission will also focus on technology and discussions with Australian companies on the mining rights and compliance in the mining industry in the Philippines.
“There will be a strong focus on technology. Obviously, technology can drive efficiency but also can drive much better social outcomes as well when it comes to mining and other activities,” she said.
Yu said the delegation will be visiting open-pit mining sites and rehabilitated mines, and see how research centers on the ground work with the community.
Even with the lifting of the moratorium on new mining agreements in April 2021 and the ban on open-pit mining for copper, gold, silver and complex ores in December 2021, Yu said Australian mining firms are approaching their investment plans here “cautiously.”
“I suspect that more and more Australian mining companies coming in to see what might be possible for them to partner with local partners or going to try and see if they can secure mining rights in their own right but that going to be a slow move because Australian companies want to do their due diligence and obviously the feasibility studies,” she said.
The envoy said Australian companies for the meantime can explore opportunities in providing mining equipment, technology and services to those companies that have secured mining rights in the Philippines.
“We have the best practice and good results on safety measures as well. They (Australian companies) are the number one choice of many mining companies as their partners and service providers,” Yu added. (PNA)