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Mining industry to take center stage in MinBizCon in Surigao City

SURIGAO CITY - The mining industry is set to take center stage for the three-day Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) that opens today, Aug. 24 here.

The annual event, which usually focuses on infrastructure and policy concerns as well as agriculture, the southern island’s main economic driver -- will highlight mining this time.

On the second day, DENR Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez will talk about balancing social justice and economic growth through sustainable development.

National Institute of Geological Sciences Director Carlo A. Arcilla is scheduled to discuss the mineral products industry development road map while Nickel Asia Corp. President Gerard H. Brimo will talk about his company, which has operations in Claver, Surigao del Norte.

Aside from Nickel Asia, several mining companies operate in the Caraga Region, including in the two Surigao provinces. Among these are Philex Mining Corp. and Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. Seven other firms in the region have previously been announced by the DENR as under audit, namely: Marc Ventures Development Corp., Clarence T. Pimentel Mining Corp. and Carrascal Nickel Corporation, all in Surigao del Sur; and Platinum Group Metals Corp., Adnama Mining Corp., Taganito Mining Corp., Hinatuan Mining Corp., and Greenstone Resources Mining Corp. in Surigao del Norte.

Bernardine T. Siy, president and chief executive officer of the Fil-Pacific Apparel Corp., will discuss the challenges and opportunities for the garments industry in Mindanao, where manufacturing still needs a push.

Other sectors lined up for discussion are wood, cacao and oil palm. Mindanao Development Authority Executive Director Janet M. Lopoz will also discuss the role of Mindanao as a strategic economic hub in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, while Dr. Felipe M. Medalla, a member of the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, will talk about the risks, consequences and policy options in investing in Mindanao. (Carmelito Q. Francisco, BusinessWorld)

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