The Philippines mining industry is a decade away from being ready to accept a ban on minerals ores, according to an official at the Philippines Mining Development Corp (PMDC).

With Indonesia's exports ban, miners in the Philippines are enjoying a particularly good run as Chinese buyers flock to the country, Jamie De Veyra, PMDC's vp, told Metal Bulletin on the sidelines of a conference in Manila.

PMDC is a government-owned and -controlled entity that works with the country's Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to manage the government-held mining projects.

The DENR is the government's executive arm overseeing the exploration and utilisation of natural resources in the Philippines.

A bill takes six months to one year to become a law if it's government priority, De Veyra explained.

Senator Bam Aquino told Metal Bulletin last week that the bill was not the administration's priority at the moment.

The elections in 2016 mean that all the government focus will shift from mid 2015 and if no action on the bill is taken by then, it's safe to say it will be put on the back burner, De Veyra added.

China is expected to run out of its nickel ore stocks by early 2015, leading to rising dependence on the Philippines for NPI raw materials.

Other miners at the conference said that while building of downstream plants could be done in 3-5 years, infrastructure issues, including power, need to be sorted first.

Deepali Sharma