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Philippine mining freeze costs millions: industry

Published on Sep 19, 2012 4:25 PM

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines is losing hundreds of millions of dollars in mining investments amid a government freeze on new projects while it strives to increase royalties, an industry chief said on Wednesday.

Ten billion pesos (S$292 million) in investments were pulled from the sector last year after a moratorium on new projects was introduced, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines president Benjamin Romualdez said.

He said another two billion pesos in investments planned for this year would also not occur as the freeze continued, with a fall in global commodity prices compounding the industry's problems.

"The Philippine mining industry is at a crossroads. After being the raging bull of the Philippine stock exchange from 2008 to early 2010, mining stocks have sputtered to become a sitting bull," Mr Romualdez told a mining conference.

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