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Mining firm explores Ilocos Norte’s mining potential

POTENTIAL INVESTOR. The provincial government of Ilocos Norte through its Investment Office, Provincial Quarry Office, and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources met with representatives of Nickel Asia Corporation and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau on Wednesday (July 22, 2020) at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall. The meeting aims to explore greater economic opportunities for Ilocos Norte to promote inclusive growth. (Photo by Leilanie G. Adriano)

LAOAG CITY – Representatives of the Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), the Philippines’ top nickel ore producer with a growing interest in renewable energy development is moving up north to explore Ilocos Norte’s investment potentials.

In a meeting held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall on Wednesday, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau along with the provincial government of Ilocos Norte’s economic group presented the province’s investment potentials, particularly on mining industry which is now being considered to help the local economy recover from the pandemic.

For years, Ilocos Norte has been conservative in terms of mining but as the Philippine government promotes rational exploration, development, utilization, and conservation of mineral resources, the provincial government has invited potential investors to help in the province’s economic recovery.

In an interview on Wednesday, Jose Bayani “JB” Baylon, NAC vice president for corporate corporations, said they are here to explore the province’s mining potential to generate local employment and boost Ilocos Norte’s social development and management program.

“Upon the request of the governor, we are here to help as he called me the other day and wrote our president. With responsible mining, the community benefits. So we are here to explore what we can potentially develop,” he said.

Following a short briefing, the group inspected the major rivers and water tributaries of Ilocos Norte where sand mining can be conducted.

As the province gears up under the new normal, all businesses including quarry operations are now back to the normal subject to prescribed health protocols.

By inviting more investors, the provincial government hopes to generate more funds for its social development programs.

As the Ilocos Norte government has allowed sand quarrying in various parts of the province which is a major local revenue generation among local government units here, permittees are now lining up at the Provincial Quarry Office to secure their permits with intent to expand their area of operation.

In November last year, the Ilocos Norte board passed the Revised Ilocos Norte Quarry Ordinance to ensure quarry applicants comply with all the requirements before they are allowed to quarry and supply the sand and gravel requirements of the various construction firms in the province. (PNA)

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