MANILA, Philippines – The Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) has recommended to President Aquino that mining projects in the advanced predevelopment stage of their contract areas be allowed to start operations if they are willing to pay the higher taxes proposed by the council, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said.
In a briefing, Paje said several mining companies, mostly nickel producers, have already expressed willingness to pay – so they can commence operations –the proposed tax of either 10 percent of gross revenues or a tax of 45 to 55 percent on adjusted mining revenues plus a percentage of windfall profit whichever would give higher revenues to the government.
Adjusted mining revenues pertain to the difference between gross sales and direct cost (direct mining cost and administrative expense).
“This shows that our computation for the government share is correct,” Paje said.
Paje said there are around 100 companies with pending applications, most of which are already in the advanced stages of exploration.
Of these, 10 have approved Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECC) and Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF) but cannot start operations as the new mining policy prohibits the granting of new mining contracts pending the passage of a new revenue-sharing scheme into law.
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“The government wants to raise revenues, and here is the chance to do this,” said Paje.
The DMPF, the last requirement needed to commence operations, is a document filed within the exploration period confirming the technical and economic viability of the mineral deposits in the tenement.
The ECC, meanwhile, contains specific measures and conditions that must be met before and during the operation of the project.
It also certifies that the company has complied with all the requirements of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System.