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Philippine nickel ore output may rise, but return to 2014 peak level unlikely - industry head

Kitco News

MANILA, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Philippine nickel miners are likely to ramp up ore output by next year, but their production capacity is limited by a number of factors, including government-imposed mining curbs, the head of the local industry lobby group said on Wednesday.

The Southeast Asian nation's nickel ore output may rise in 2020 mining season, but the volume is unlikely to return to the 2014 record-high level of about 50 million tonnes, said Dante Bravo, president of the Philippine Nickel Industry Association.

The Mines and Geoscienses Bureau (MGB), the industry watchdog under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), limits the land that miners can develop at any one time under new rules introduced in September last year to protect the environment. "I don't think we will return to that level because the DENR has already imposed this area limit that you can mine, and there is no new mine that's being opened," Bravo told reporters on the sidelines of a Philippine mining conference.

(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz, editing by Louise Heavens)

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