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Philippine Ore Ban Wins Support While Implementation Far Off

The Philippine government should move toward banning mineral ore exports, the environment secretary said today, offering support to a bill proposing restrictions that may threaten nickel ore supplies to China.

The proposal last month by Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino would require all minerals to be processed before export. The move follows a similar ban by Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of nickel, that went into effect in January and helped push up prices of the refined metal 37 percent this year. The Philippines has replaced Indonesia as the largest supplier of nickel ore to China, the world’s biggest user.