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The Philippines says the US and China are looking for mining opportunities, particularly in nickel

The Philippines says the US and China are looking for mining opportunities, particularly in nickel

Several countries, including the United States and China, have expressed interest in cooperating with the Philippines in the mining sector, particularly in nickel, the Philippines' environment secretary said on Friday.

In a speech by Maria Antonia Yulo-Laysaka, the Philippines needs to expand its nickel processing capacity, a key component for making electric vehicle batteries. He said Australia, Britain, Canada and European Union countries have shown interest in the Philippines.

“Unfortunately, the country currently has only two nickel processing plants, which underlines the need for specific measures by the government,” said Loisaka, who is in charge of mining.

After banning unprocessed nickel exports in 2020, the Philippines is looking to follow in the footsteps of neighboring Indonesia, which has made major investments in processing facilities for its vast nickel ore deposits. They are trying to lure big EV manufacturers to the country.

The two Philippine nickel processing plants are partly owned by the largest ore producer, Nickel Asia Corp.

The Philippines produced 35.14 million tons of nickel ore last year, up 19% from the previous year. (Reporting by Michael Flores and Karen Lema; Editing by Martin Petty)

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