SWISS multinational Glencore plc is hoping to support Philippine plans to expand in-country mineral processing, Trade Assistant Secretary Glenn G. Peñaranda said.

In a briefing on Monday, Mr. Peñaranda said: “Glencore is involved in the processing of our minerals. This is important because we are fortunate that the Philippines has a lot of minerals like nickel, copper and cobalt, which are very important since these are needed for EVs, and also power batteries that are needed for renewable energy projects,” Mr. Peñaranda said.

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said at a conference of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines in Makati City on Monday that “Mineral processing is crucial given our resources of green metals… (that) can be used for downstream industries such as electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing, hyperscale data centers, and renewable energy projects.”

“The Philippines can be a vital partner for these critical minerals, not as an exporter of raw ores, which is what is happening now, but as a processor and producer of semi-finished and finished products. We have Indonesia as a model,” he added.

Indonesia suspended nickel exports in 2020 in a bid to do more processing in-house. The Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia are some of the biggest ore exporters because of their proximity to China, where nickel is manufactured into stainless steel, though new-energy applications are growing for the metal.   

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau estimated the value of metallic mineral output in the first nine months of 2022 at P175.61 billion, up 29.21%. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave