Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.
TUBA, Benguet: A mining industry executive has predicted rosy days for the local metal industry amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic and a revival of the world economy in the next three to five years.
Over the weekend, Philex President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eulalio Austin Jr. said aggressive promotion of the use of electronic vehicles and artificial intelligence had created a big demand for metals, particularly copper, and served as a stepping stone for sustained operations of mining companies, located in different parts of the world.
Austin pointed out high metal prices that had prevailed in the past several years, which was the reason why global mining has survived the onslaught of the pandemic.
The Philex official explained that with such prices, mines worldwide were able to go back to old ore deposits that were low grade to take advantage of good metal prices.
Austin said the expected recovery of the world economy that had been heavily impacted by the pandemic would also raise demand for quality metals in the next five years.
Philex had been operating its Padcal mine in this mineral-rich town over the past 64 years, gaining distinction as the country’s largest gold and copper producer.
Austin said the company has been continuously operating amid the ongoing pandemic with strict adherence to minimum public health standards to prevent a possible outbreak of the deadly virus at the mine site, especially with a new threat from Covid-19’s more infectious Delta variant.
According to him, mining corporations will have to take advantage of the prevailing high metal prices and the projected bright prospects for the global mining industry in order to continue providing jobs even as companies help develop its host communities and try to also help protect the environment.
Austin said Philex will continue to lead the way in the practice of responsible mining to elevate the industry and achieve the overall objective of maximizing the utilization of rich resources of the state.
The Philex president added that mining companies must always be inclusive in implementing its expansion and development projects to be able to earn the trust and confidence of indigenous peoples, local government units and concerned stakeholders.