Explore The Vast

Mining and Mineral Processing

The Philippines is considered as one of the countries that is richly endowed with metallic resources and has the potential to be among the top ten largest mining powers in the world. In terms of occurrence per unit area, the Philippines ranks third in gold, fourth in copper, fifth in nickel and sixth in chromite.Thus, making the mining and minerals industry a potential driver of the country’s economy.

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5th most mineral- rich country

The Philippines is the fifth most mineral-rich country in the world for gold, nickel, copper, and chromite.

Source: DENR-MGB

30% of the country's land has high mineral potential

Thirty percent of the country's land area, or about 9 million hectares, is identified as having high mineral potential.

Source: DENR-MGB

PHP160.91 billion production value

The metallic mineral production value of gold, nickel ore, mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide, scandium oxalate, chromite, and iron is estimated to be 160.91 billion Philippine pesos in 2021.

Source: DENR-MGB

The Philippines is situated along a well-defined belt of volcanoes called the Circum-Pacific Rim of Fire where the processes of volcanism and plate convergence resulted in the formation of abundant and important metallic mineral deposits. Mining in the Philippines predates the Spanish era which started in the 16th century. [181]

The Philippines is considered as one of the countries that are richly endowed with metallic resources and it has the potential to be among the top ten largest mining powers in the world. [181] Metals, nonmetals, and mineral resources abound in mountains, plains, coasts, and even in shoreline areas. It is among the world’s most richly endowed in gold, copper, nickel, iron and chromite. It is also rich in other minerals like coal, cobalt, gypsum, silver, manganese, lead, mercury, zinc, molybdenum and sulfur. In terms of occurrence per unit area, the Philippines ranks third in gold, fourth in copper, fifth in nickel and sixth in chromite. Thus, making the mining and minerals industry a potential driver of the country’s economy. [182]

The mining industry in the Philippines produces a wide variety of minerals from precious metals to iron and ferro-alloy metals and base metals. There are 55 operating metallic mines (12 gold mines, 3 copper mines, 32 nickel mines, 4 chromite mines and 4 iron mines). There are 56 operating non-metallic mines (28 limestone/ shale quarries, 4 marbleized limestone,7 silica quarries, 10 aggregate quarries, 1 dolomite quarry and 3 clay quarries, 1 sand & gravel, 1 volcanic tuff, 1 greywacke/pozzolan). There are 7 processing plants (4 gold processing plants, 2 nickel processing plants and 1 copper smelter plant). [183]

The gross value added generated by the Philippine mining industry is estimated to be 120.4 billion Philippine pesos in 2021, according to a report released by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).The DENR-MGB estimated the metallic mineral production value of gold, nickel ore, mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide, scandium oxalate, chromite, and iron at 160.91 billion Philippine pesos in 2021. The estimated value of gold produced was 52.48 billion Philippine pesos, the estimated value of nickel & nickel products produced was 89.48 billion Philippine pesos, and the estimated value of copper produced was 17.29 billion Philippine pesos. The total value of minerals, mineral products, and non-metallic mineral manufacture exported in the past year was at USD 5.2 billion. [183]

The mining industry provides employment opportunities to a significant portion of the population, directly and indirectly, generating 184,000 jobs and around 25.71 billion Philippine pesos was committed for the Social Development Management Program (SDMP). [184]

Opportunities and

  • Thirty percent of the country's land area, or about 9 million hectares, is identified as having high mineral potential and this is expected to increase further with continuing explorations and geological mappings. Only 2.55% of the 30 million hectare total land area is covered by mining permits. [183]

  • Discovery of new sites with potentially world-class deposits differentiated from previous discoveries that were of low grade and shallow-seated like Tampakan (copper) which represents one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the South East Asia-Western Pacific region, Far Southeast (copper-gold) and Boyongan (copper). [181]

  • New technologies adapted for further processing and for increasing the value of mineral products like High Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) which involves the dissolution of the ores in strong acid under high pressure and temperature to liberate the nickel and other metals and produce an intermediate nickel product with higher concentration. Heap Leaching for nickel laterites as a low-cost and environmentally friendly alternative to HPAL, which involves irrigation of leach pads with 5% acid solution to produce a mixed hydroxide nickel product. [181]

  • The labor force is highly educated, English proficient and has strong and good work ethics. There are available mining engineers and geologists with extensive experience in mineral exploration and mining operations. There are a number of graduates in mining, geological and metallurgical engineering every year and a continuing scholarship and training program to address increasing demand for skilled workers. The available laborers have extensive experience in mining related jobs. [181]

  • Many mines are located near the sea or ocean and have the advantage of proximity to ports as transhipment points and have close proximity to China, Japan, Korea and other Asian markets. [181] There is a surging mineral demand from rapidly industrializing economies like China and India and continuous importation of mineral ores of Australia, Japan and other trading partners in Asia. [181]

  • The demand for gold, copper, iron ore, chromite and coal remain strong and the commodity prices, especially gold, remain high. Investors from Korea, Japan, Australia, and China continue to come and look for joint venture projects. There are also interests from several new markets in exploring mining opportunities in the Philippines. [181]

  • The Philippines will work to boost investments in its mining sector by leveraging the global shift to green technologies and the increased demand for data centers. [184] The Philippines aims to process ore locally into precursor materials for a wide range of products, including the batteries used to power electric vehicles and data centers. The end of a ban on new mining permits may also attract funds for processing minerals instead of just exporting mineral-bearing ore. An approved 2022 strategic investment priority plan lists activities such as environment- and climate-change-related projects as eligible for tax incentives. The BOI is also targeting domestic and international investment commitments for 2022 totaling approximately 1 trillion pesos, or $20 billion. [184]

New Product Opportunities


HS Code
6804 HS4

Featured Companies

  • Apex Mining Co., Inc. Apex Mining Co., Inc. was incorporated in 1970 primarily to carry on the business of mining, milling, concentrating, converting, smelting, treating, preparing for market, manufacturing, buying, selling, exchanging and otherwise producing and dealing in gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc brass, iron, steel and all kinds of ores, metals and minerals. The company’s headquarter is in Pasig City, Manila. The company's mining operations are situated in the municipalities of Maco and Mabini in Compostela Valley, where the area has epithermal gold deposits and porphyry copper deposits. The company's mine produces bullion containing gold and silver. The company also holds interests in Monte Oro Resources & Energy, Inc. (MORE), which owns Paracale Gold Ltd. that owns Coral Resources Philippines Inc., which in turn owns a mineral processing plant in Jose Panganiban, in Camarines Norte, and Bulawan Mineral Resources Corporation. Apex Mining also owns four patented mineral claims, through its subsidiary, Itogon and Suyoc Mines, covering the Sangilo and Suyoc Mines in Benguet. The company also has interests in gold mines overseas, such as in Mongolia, Uganda and Myanmar, through its subsidiary, Monte Oro Resources and Energy. [186]

  • Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation (THPAL) was incorporated in 2008 to engage mainly in the manufacture and export of nickel and cobalt mixed sulfide. THPAL is a sister company of Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC), the first company in the world to successfully employ the highly efficient High Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) technology to turn low-grade nickel oxide ore, which was once considered as waste, into a manufactured intermediate product of high commercial value. THPAL, located in Mindanao, is a subsidiary of Sumimoto Metal Mining Co. that produces mixed nickel-cobalt sulfides (MS) using HPAL technology and exports the raw materials to the SMM Group's nickel refining facilities at Niihama Nickel Refinery and Harima Refinery in Japan. THPAL also started recovery of scandium in 2018, and recovery of chromite in 2021. [187]

  • Philex Mining Corp. Philex Mining Corporation (PMC) is one of the oldest and largest mining companies in the country and was incorporated in 1955. The two subsidiaries of PMC, Philex Gold Philippines, Inc. (PGPI) and Silangan Mindanao Mining Co., Inc. (SMMCI), are primarily engaged in large-scale exploration, development and utilization of mineral resources. PMC has been operating Padcal Mine in Benguet since 1958 producing copper, gold and silver concentrates. Philex also owns Bulawn Mine in Negros Occidental through its subsidiary, PGPI, which has ounces of gold. SMECI, through SMMCI, owns the Silangan Project covering the Boyongan and Bayugo deposits in Surigao. Adjacent to the Silangan Project is the Kalayaan Project, the exploration of which is being undertaken by Philex by virtue of a Farm-in Agreement with Kalayaan Gold & Copper Resources, Inc., a subsidiary of Manila Mining Corporation. [188]

  • Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation is an integrated resource company with significant and focused interests in mining copper, nickel, mineral exploration and water source development. It was incorporated as Masbate Consolidated Mining Company, Inc. in 1935 as a result of the merger of assets and equities of three pre-war mining companies, namely, Masbate Consolidated Mining Company Inc., Antamok Goldfields Mining Company, and IXL Mining Company. Thereafter, Atlas Mining amended its articles of incorporation to reflect the present corporate name. Its major project is the Toledo copper mine in Cebu province which is operated by its wholly-owned subsidiary Carmen Copper Corporation. The Toledo copper mine commenced production in 1955 and grew to become the third largest copper producer in the world and one of the Philippines' largest copper mines, thus making Carmen Copper a principal producer and exporter of copper concentrate in the country. To optimize its operations, and in line with the expansion of its beneficiation plant, Carmen Copper is pursuing the development and commercial distribution of marketable by-products from its copper concentrate processing such as molybdenum, magnetite, and pyrite. Atlas Mining also has a stake in the nickel laterite mining project of Berong Nickel Corporation in Palawan. Berong Nickel has been engaged in the direct shipping of nickel laterite ore since 2007. [189]


[181] Board of Investments. (2011, June). THE PHILIPPINES’ MINERAL POTENTIAL. BOI Gov Ph.


[182] Department of Science and Technology. (n.d). SUSTAINABLE MINING IN MINERAL RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT.


[183] Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (n.d). Minirals Industry at a glance.


[184] Miguel, M. (2021, June 21). DENR-MGB: PH mining sector contributes ₱102.3B to GDP; allots ₱379B for environmental programs in 2020. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.


[185] Garcia, A. (2022, May 30). Philippines to boost mining investment, targets $20B in commitments – Bloomberg. S&P Global Market Intelligence.


[186] Apex Mining Co. Inc. (n.d.). Company Profile.


[187] Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation. (n.d.). Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation. Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation LinkedIn.




[189] Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation. (n.d.). Our Business.