Small Scale Mining Laws in the Philippines

Last updated: 1 November 2022

Small scale mining (or artisanal mining) in the Philippines is regulated under two laws, the Small-Scale Mining Act (RA 7076) and Presidential Decree 1899 (PD 1899). Generally, PD 1899 applies to mining for commercial purposes by individuals, partnerships and corporations, while RA 7076 and its Revised IRR (DAO2015-03) applies to mining for subsistence purposes by cooperatives and individuals.

Engaging in small-scale mining requires a declaration of a Minahang Bayan (“nation’s mine”) and award of a Small-Scale Mining Contract before the conduct of small-scale mining operations. 

The law limits production to 50,000 metric tons annually over a contract area of 20 hectares. RA 7076 applies to gold, silver and chromite for metallic, and kaolin, silica, marble, gravel, lay and similar minerals for non-metallic, whereas PD 1899 applies to precious metals, primary gold (and associated metals), copper, chromite, mercury, lead, zinc, manganese, iron, and nickel, and other mineral commodities as may be included by the Director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

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