Following two consecutive hearings last week, the Philippines’ mining industry expressed its confidence that the Commission on Appointments (CA) will reject Gina Lopez as the Environment secretary, emphasizing that she was unable to persuade the members of the committee. Lopez is among just a few of President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointees yet to be confirmed by lawmakers. Nickel prices fell 10% as bears believe there will be a rejection.
Nickel’s bull market started when Duterte became president of the Philippines in June. Prices gained throughout the year as Lopez led an environmental crackdown on the Philippine mining industry.
The Philippines is the top nickel ore exporter and Lopez’s approval would probably sustain worries over supply disruptions that could lift global prices this year. On the other hand, a rejection would give miners a key win in the battle against environmentalists, adding pressure to nickel prices.
President Duterte continues to throw support to Lopez, but at the same time he is hoping for a happy compromise between environmentalists and the mining industry, amid rising concerns over job and revenue losses. Read more