Philippine mining set for bumpy ride under Duterte administration

Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:00pm EDT
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* Environmentalist mining minister seen making bold reforms

* Miners expect crackdown on environmental grounds

* Only 3 pct of Philippine mineral reserves is being mined

* Philippines is biggest nickel ore supplier to China

By Manolo Serapio Jr and Enrico Dela Cruz

MANILA, July 1 (Reuters) - After the Philippines became the top supplier of nickel ore to China in the last two years, its struggling mining industry may have felt like it was turning a corner.

But hope in the industry of getting an easier ride exploiting minerals in a country with a strong anti-mining lobby now looks misplaced with the new administration of President Rodrigo Duterte sending tough messages on mining.

Duterte has warned that he could cancel mining projects causing environmental harm, though he told business leaders last week that he was not against mining per se.

"But in making money out of the precious metals of the earth that belongs to the Filipino people you have to do it right," he said.   Continued...