Gov’t urged to incentivize downstream nickel processing – by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat (Manila Bulletin – March 5, 2023)


Imposing a ban or tax on the export of raw ore is not the solution to attract middle to downstream nickel processing in the country, but the granting additional incentives to investors, according to a top industry player.

Martin Antonio G. Zamora, president and CEO of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC), the country’s lone nickel mining company with a processing operation of its raw ore, said during a media round table that incentives may be granted in the form of additional tax breaks on top of what has been given to manufacturing firms at present to attract more downstream processing operations.

“Instead of a ban, just provide more incentives for companies to build those plants,” said Zamora. Earlier, Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said the Board of Investments (BOI) is studying whether to ban or impose a tax on the export of raw ore to encourage further processing of the green metals in the country to be able to produce electric vehicle (EV) batteries and participate in the huge EV global value chain.

The DTI is also looking at the Indonesian model, which banned its exports of nickel ore, to push for the development of its nickel industry and exports high value added products.

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