The government will allow mining companies to operate new projects provided that they will pay the higher tax or higher government share on their profits as proposed under the new mining law.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary Ramon Paje said that the Mineral Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) has already endorsed to the Office of the President a memorandum allowing mining projects in advanced exploration stage to develop their concession areas.
Most of these companies, he said, are engaged in nickel mining and have indicated their willingness to pay the higher government share.
In a media briefing, Paje said that the mining companies’ willingness to pay shows DENR computations on profit sharing is correct.
He said the nickel miners have approved Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility. DMPF is the last process before a mining company can operate.
President Benigno Aquino 3RD issued EO 79 two years that among others set higher taxes and identified the places where mining cannot be done.
“We are set to deny all pending applications for mining development, particularly Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) as the moratorium for the issuance of the mineral agreements is still in effect until a legislation rationalizing the existing revenue sharing scheme and mechanisms is amended, as provided for in Section 4 of EO 79,” Paje said.
At present, there are more than 100 pending mining applications.
The DENR chief, however, said that a positive recommendation from President Benigno Aquino 3rd would give mining companies opportunity to proceed with the operating stage—provided that they pay the government share in the amount not less than the propose mining revenue scheme.
The MICC, an interagency body tasked to oversee reforms in the mining sector, earlier approved the new revenue sharing scheme, which will levy a 10 percent tax on gross revenues or a 55-45 percent share of the adjusted net mining revenues (ANMR)—whichever is higher.
“Allowing these mining projects to proceed to the operation stage will mean additional revenues and sources of livelihood for the communities,” Paje said.
He also stressed that stricter environmental standards are now in place assuring more responsible mining.
Earlier, the DENR issued Department Administrative Order 2014-06, which amends the implementing rules of Executive Order 79.
The order allows mining companies faced with depleting reserves to expand their contract areas and ensure continuity of operations as well as avoid shutting down of existing mines.