MAC: Mines and Communities

Bhp Billiton Looks At Us$1b Investment In Philippines: Official

Published by MAC on 2007-06-04
Source: Channel News Asia

BHP Billiton looks at US$1b investment in Philippines: official

Channel News Asia -

4th June 2007

MANILA: BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, is looking to invest up to US$1 billion in a nickel project in the southern Philippines, a senior mining industry official said Monday.

The project is at the "conceptual" stage and BHP chief executive, Chip Goodyear had discussed it during President Gloria Arroyo's recent trip to Australia, said Benjamin Philip Romualdez, president of the Philippine Chamber of Mines.

Arroyo met mining executives during her brief visit to Australia last week.

Romualdez, who was present at the meeting, said the site is located near Mati on the southeast coast of the mineral rich southern island of Mindanao.

BHP Billiton officials said the project would require investment of up to a billion dollars, he added. No timetable was laid out.

Romualdez said foreign mining companies have invested about US$700 million in the Philippines over the past three years after the Supreme Court upheld a 1997 mining law that allowed foreign entities to skirt constitutional restrictions on foreign investment in key sectors of the economy.

He said the sector expects fresh investments of between US$400 million and US$500 million this year.

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